The pandemic Covid-19 has created an unexpected and unforeseen adverse impact on the global health system, business, economy, livelihoods and daily lives. At the cusp of a defining change, it is wishful that the Asian countries come forward for reimagining continental economic cooperation and staking a claim in the new world order.
To brave the challenges, there is a glaring need for giving a long-pending due to continental, regional and subregional economic cooperation in Asia. Essentially, for finding a strong basis for such economic and strategic integration, a shared vision for continental peace and prosperity will help the businesses to flourish in Asia, a zone of hope. If the Asian continent gets a new lease of life through a renewed approach of cooperation, the new world disorder will be rather positively eventful after the crisis.
A new history is being made. An outbreak of unfortunate happenings the world over has resulted in the loss of employment and a sharp decline in wages. The trend of migration is suddenly threatened, and migrants are vulnerable like never before.
The downward momentum is symptomatic of deep economic troubles. At this critical juncture, when the terms of late-stage capitalism are undergoing change, the time has come when politics must make an interface with economics in policy and action. For survival and a rebound, Asian economies have no better option than reviewing their domestic and regional markets. In this emerging scenario, economic integration has to be shaped by considering scale, dependency and sustainability. This time in history will be known for a re-shaping of the world, which will stay on the course of modernism, but one that will be drastically different from the post-colonial one. The shifted fundamentals will have an impact on the multilateral institutions and advanced economies that enormously dominated the post-World War period.
The need of the hour is to have a common goal of promoting regional connectivity, enabling ease of doing business and promoting entrepreneurship, start-ups and small and medium enterprises (SMEs).
With the vision to strengthen Asian trade, enhance regional economic growth by acting as the eyes, ears and voice of the business community in Asia, mission to promote trade activities, encourages research and development in trade and advocacy for stronger trade ties within the region and scope to promote Asian integration, presenting the needs, aspirations and opinions of its members and achieving a more SME-friendly regulatory and policy environment, the Confederation of Nepalese Industries (CNI) envisions a harmonious unity among the Industry Chambers of Asian region.
In light of this, CNI has taken an initiative to form the Union of Asian Chambers (UAC) to achieve the common goals of the Industry Associations of the Asian region and formally launched it on July 21, 2021 in the presence of key functionaries from the Founding Member Associations and the Prime Minister of Nepal Sher Bahadur Deuba as the Chief Guest at Kathmandu. Under the leadership of its Founding Chairman and CNI’s Vice President Nirvana Chaudhary, UAC will be headquartered at Kathmandu and dedicatedly operate to achieve the underlying goals by broadening its ambit through the institutional membership and series of well-oriented deliberations. For initial few years in institution-making, there will be no membership fee for the Member Organisations and CNI is going to support UAC as a host institution.
To achieve the aforementioned mission, vision and scope, UAC calls for a united action and thus inviting the industry associations across Asia to be the “Member Association” of UAC with representation of their leadership in “Governing Council” and executive head in “Executive Council” for further collaboration and scripting new success stories from Asia.
As of now, the globalised trade is badly disrupted and to see the old normal buoyancy in the near future, the Asian economies have to come forward and lead the revival plan in letter and spirit. The crisis offers ample opportunities to boost the Asian spirit and correct the mistakes of bygone times. The strengthening of continental, regional and subregional economic cooperation in Asia will be of immediate help in dealing with the pandemic and the broken supply chains and mobility caused by it. An idea of “Reimagining Asian Economic Integration” calls for deeper engagements of Asian economies’ in exploring opportunities among themselves and offering the much needed green shoots to the world. In a troubled world, thinking of having a firmed "Asia-bound business approach" for economic cooperation can be a game-changer for the Asian economies.
UAC should work as a major non-partisan Economic Forum in Asia for strengthening the base of Asian economic cooperation, its deliberations and annual convention will essentially involve the Member Associations, industry institutions, Investors, innovators, economic diplomacy officials, economists, development thinkers and media. Among the key focus areas of UAC will be: Policy Advocacy & Thought Leadership; Research & Market & Intelligence; Conferences & Exhibitions; Trade Facilitation (EoDB) & Investment; Connectivity & Green Mobility; Climate Change & Sustainability; Promoting Asian Unity. With unwavering determination, the Member Association’s association with UAC will be for: Promoting Asian Economic Integration; Working in tandem with needs, aspirations and opinions of its Member Associations; Achieving a more liberal, open and inclusive trade-friendly regulatory and policy environment.
Noticeably, UAC is established with an aim to make 21st century, an Asian century and make the world a better place.