The South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation Chamber of Commerce and Industry (SAARC-CCI) -the apex body of SAARC- in collaboration with the Federation of Chambers of Commerce and Industry of Sri Lanka (FCCISL) and the  National Chambers of Commerce and Industry from other South Asian countries had organized a three- day Investment Forum under the theme ‘Turning Point in South Asian Tourism’ from  September 30 to October  2, 2015 in Colombo.

The prime objectives of the three-day conference was to Identify priority issues in tourism promotion in South Asia, to engage stakeholders particularly investors in regional connectivity through cooperation in aviation industry, tour operators, transport services, hospitality industry, etc. Further, organizers also expected to identify challenges and prospects as to find assistance to unleash tourism potential to create socio-cultural affinity as a tool to deepen regional integration.

The conference was inaugurated on September 30 by Tourism Minister John Amaratunga, Deputy Minister Public Enterprise Development Eran Wickramaratne, and Deputy Minister Foreign Affairs Harsha De Silva. Lt. Col. Muhammad Faruk Khan (Retd.), Member of Parliament also the Chairman Standing Committee Ministry of Civil Aviation And Tourism and Former Minister of Commerce of Bangladesh, Maj Gen (R) Syed Shakeel Hussain, the High Commissioner of High Commission of Pakistan In Sri Lanka, senior diplomatic officials from Afghanistan, India and Nepal, M Ibrahim Ghafoori Director, SAARC Secretariat, Suraj Vaidya acting president SAARC CCI and Ajith Wattuhewa Presid
Technical sessions were held on different topics with the participation of the experts in the relevant fields from the SAARC countries. The final document named as Colombo Declaration had been prepared with the inclusion of proposals from all the technical sessions took place during the two days. (DPL)