LAHORE (APP) - SAARC Chamber of Commerce and Industry (SCCI),an apex body of chambers Saturday urged upon the respective governments of SAARC member countries to play proactive role for removal of irritants and non-tariff barriers to foster regional economic integration for implementation of SAFTA in true spirit. According to a message received here today from Dhakka, speaking at the inaugural session of 3-day SAARC special high level meeting commenced today at Dhakka (Bangladesh) wherein leader of Pak delegation, VP SCCI, Pak chapter, Iftikhar Ali Malik gave a detailed presentation and outlined the vision and the activities of business community under the umbrella of SCCI. President SCCI Annisul Huq who belongs to Bangladesh chaired the session while former SCCI Chief Tariq Sayeed from Pakistan was also present on the occasion. He was of the opinion that regional economic integration was must for creating complementarities and regarded it as an effective and tangible arrangement to face the challenges of globalization highlighting the role of the private sector under the umbrella of SCCI he said that it has embarked upon a comprehensive plan to promote trade activities in the region which includes SAARC business leaders conclave, seminars on economic freedom and create SAARC Pavilion in all "expo" of Asia and said that SCCI will continue such productive activities to reap maximum benefits out of SAFTA. Iftikhar Ali Malik also identified some of the constraints being faced by businessmen of the SAARC region while engaging in intra-regional trade. He put forth several proposals for exploring existing and indicative potential of the region. The proposals include multi modal transport road map for efficient economic union, additional road links for border trade, utilization of rail, road and sea routes for improved transportation, priority berthing for the shipping lines of the region, establishment of custom stations including warehousing, container terminals, availability of cargo handling equipments and space for parking of trucks at all trade points across the border. He asserted on the need of removal of such barriers and said that the provision of recommended facilitation would transform the region into one the most active commercial hubs of Asia. Iftikhar also emphasized for introducing a centralized mechanism including the adoption of mutual recognition of certification, harmonization of standards and Testing Procedures, enhanced communication linkage, SAARC banking and insurance system including insurance coverage with regard to the goods lying at no man's land throughout the region and hoped that such initiatives would enhance business transaction within the region. He stressed the need to formulate and adopt a uniformed policy on joint ventures and investments. He said that now Investments have overtaken as a basic instrument to promote international trade and since joint ventures are crucial as it is a major trade promotion tool for the SAARC Region. He vowed that during presidential tenure of Annisul Huq with SCCI he will progressively follow up the SAARC Secretariat on enhancing the flow of foreign direct investments across the region to promote joint ventures following the example of China as in the year 1951 it had USD 551 million worth of exports which now touched historic figure in memory due to FDI.