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  • trana126 4:17 pm on September 4, 2013 Permalink | Reply  

    E for entrepreneurship 

    Guest Post by Trishna Rana, WB-SAES Youth Delegate from Nepal

    Entrepreneurship is now such a buzz word in Nepal and rest of South Asia. But how well do we understand it? Does our education system foster the kind of creativity and originality that is needed for real entrepreneurship? Are governments easing the process for an individuals or groups o start their own business or are they impeding it with endless red tape? Although the ASEAN does have its own intricacies and challenges, it seems like a good role model to emulate. Particularly impressive is how ASEAN countries are forging ahead with the theme of ‘complement, not compete’ as countries look to specialize in certain industries, while building a singular production centre in the region.

  • nandishkenia 3:42 pm on September 4, 2013 Permalink | Reply  

    Thinking Out of the Box! 

    Guest post by Nandish Kenia, WB SAES Youth Delegate from India

    What different is East Asia doing that their economy is growing so rapidly and South Asia fails to grow yet again! From one of the very interesting discussions, Dev Nathan mentioned that duplicating the East Asian model is not the solution to the deprived South Asian economy. If we try to make cheaper products than the Chinese then there will be no difference, there will be no growth. What South Asia needs to do is start thinking out of the box, be more creative and design and innovate products that the Chinese yet haven’t done! Like promote smart phones which are cheaper than i-phones and blackberry’s. These smart phones will have a larger base and more users will benefit.

    For people who want to start producing and manufacturing in South Asian countries it’s a herculean task. For eg: if someone want to open a factory, first he needs to visits various tax departments (sales, excise, customs, imports, etc) and wonder which taxes apply to him. After taxation he has to wonder which licenses he has to take to start the factory. And then if one has any energy left he has to face the goons in that area. Whereas in China, there is a one stop station! If you want to start something, all you have to do is go and enquire and the person will give you all the details. The government makes the process smooth and hassle free.

    Only if the government makes the process easy, there will be spurt in innovation.

  • tahminashafique 3:41 pm on September 4, 2013 Permalink | Reply  

    “Man is a great land animal and he has made a big mess of it. In the sea the situation is not great but certainly we have not managed to mess it up as much yet. So at sea, the situation, I would say is better.”- Raja Menon, Securing the Indian Ocean. In 60-minutes.

  • anijat 3:33 pm on September 4, 2013 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Atiq Rahimi, , Patience Stone, , SAARC, Silence   

    In South Asia, “any act becomes political, even silence.” 

    Guest Post by Aarya Nijat, WB-SAES Youth Delegate from Afghanistan

    In 60 Minutes/ 2nd talk
    S.D. Muni said: “I wrote a book in 1983 named SARC, with on “A” because then the Association was not yet formed. Two years later when SAARC was formed, they handed us a depoliticized SAARC. They didn’t realize that Marx stands upside down in South Asia.” “Politicize SAARC.”

    The Afghan-French author of The Patience Stone Atiq Rahimi wrote: “…in Iran just as well as in Afghanistan (and perhaps South Asia) words defy tyranny… the existential problem isn’t “to be or not to be …” but to say or not to say… Thus, any act becomes political. Even silence. Even lies… The problem lies in each of us, because our hearts are sealed… So should we still doubt the political dimension of literature? I’d say NO, because literature is a fight against all political systems. It is the power of words against the words of power.”

    (From the Keynote address on Should Literature be Political” at Edinburg World Writers Conference,

    Aarya Blogs at

  • tahminashafique 3:30 pm on September 4, 2013 Permalink | Reply  

    Fix politics, if you really want to fix economics. Let not just talk about economics in an isolated manner. Lets link it up with politics. Unless we do that, there is nothing to achieve. Call the next summit “an integration” or “engagement” summit and bring the political agenda on this table! A great statement by S.D Munin. “In 60-minutes”

  • tahminashafique 3:23 pm on September 4, 2013 Permalink | Reply

    “Policy is a process, and it is not handed down to us. It is formulated and it includes think tanks, civil societies and they need to come up with ideas. Forward looking ideas. There is no point in complaining about governments all the time!” Nadeem Ul Haque


  • anijat 3:16 pm on September 4, 2013 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Change, Fear, , Loss,   

    Fear What? 

    Guest Post by Aarya Nijat, WB-SAES Youth Delegate from Afghanistan

    In 60 Minutes/ 2nd talk

    “We fear growth and change and therefore South Asia will not change.” Nadeem Ul Haque


    Does growth represent change? Does change represent disequilibrium? Does disequilibrium represent potential loss? So is it growth and change that we fear or the potential loss enveloped in that growth and change?

    We fear loss. Not really growth and change.
    Aarya Blogs at

  • tahminashafique 2:56 pm on September 4, 2013 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , innovation, SME   

    Googled out! 

    I must say, it is truly fascinating this afternoon as we see Ann Lavin, Director, Google, Asia Pacific speak about their work and ties it with innovation and entrepreneurship. We all know google, through our gmails, through google search, through our smart phones and in every little way possible in our lives. But, what does google really do? How is it connected to economics? How does it play a role in entrepreneurship which characterizes South Asia.

    Google’s business model is a fascinating one, they make all their money not from the services they provide chiefly, but majority of their income comes from advertisements. Their advertising programs, which range from simple text ads to rich media ads, help businesses find customers, and help publishers make money off of their content. They also have interesting cloud computing tools for businesses that save money and help organizations be more productive.

    In terms igniting entrepreneurship and innovations, bringing forth business solutions, google provides a variety of tools to help businesses of all kinds succeed on and off the web. These programs form the backbone of google’s own business even though we are clearly not very aware of this; they’ve also enabled entrepreneurs and publishers around the world to grow theirs.

    Within South Asia, google has done some interesting SME solutions work in India. Well, time to get connected, time to be innovative since there is no alternative to this for making it out there. Maybe a start would to start “googling” and find out about google and SME work!

  • tahminashafique 2:16 pm on September 4, 2013 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , SME development   

    SMEs- Let get Smarter, shall we? 

    Professor Rehman Sobhan asked a thought provoking question this afternoon- we have been talking about SME development and the problems facing SMEs for decades now. “What was being discussed 55 years ago, is still a point of discussion,” he said.

    It is true, the number of studies and projects under the banner of “Barriers of SME development” are countless. And we can all gather to discuss about registration issues, operational issues, access to finance, quality of labour, skills development, investments and more. There is no end to this discourse. But, perhaps it is time to address this issues in smarter ways.

    What can we do in smarter ways? Perhaps, not come up with a long list of mega plans and pick out arena which cannot be achieved against the backdrop of our business environments. Perhaps a start could be structuring processes, initiating business advisory services, initiating processes of linking micro level businesses. What are we really good at?

    If our governments are not going to be working on a mega implementation of our national SME strategies, industrial policies, can we perhaps begin to advocate for smaller outcomes such as setting up business advisory services- initiating a process of instilling basic business ideas in micro levels such as accounting, planning, marketing. Food for thought.

  • anijat 1:18 pm on September 4, 2013 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , Global Integration, , Regional Integration   

    Two Points Worth a Long Pause 

    Guest Post by Aarya Nijat, WB-SAES Youth Delegate from Afghanistan

    One of the panelists from East Asia made an interesting observation about South Asia, which I find equally applicable in the Afghan context: “South Asian dynamics are marked by a domination of politics over economics, while East Asian dynamics are marked by a domination of economics over politics. For example the India-Pakistan political tensions block building understanding on the way forward on economic development, while the China-Taiwan relations reflect the domination of economics on politics.” One entity that I think is a victim of this dynamic is SAFMA, the South Asian Media Federation, mainly because one of the panelists proposed to have a South Asian Media Summit while SAFMA exists and this makes me question SAFMA’s effectiveness. I just think this is worth a long pause, and I’d leave it at that.

    The same East Asian Panelist also highlighted the need to look at deepening South Asian Integration through increased Global Integration; increased engagement with the global economy. So should national integration to be also looked at from the prism of regional economic integration then?

    Aarya Blogs at

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