Country Coordinators’ Message
Dr. S.M. Turab Hussain
Associate ProfessorLahore University of Management Sciences
For more than a decade SAESM has brought the youth of our region together every year to discuss issues and problems which are common to the region. Students from across South Asia meet, converse become friends and inevitably realize that they share much more with their neighbors then they had previously thought. One hopes that in the future these students would think differently from the previous generations. They would realize that while we should take lessons from history, it should not be allowed to determine the course of our future. The region cannot prosper without peace and cooperation at all levels. SAESM remains one of the few examples of regional cooperation which has sustained and persevered against all odds. So with this positive spirit we have come to participate in SAESM Bangladesh. We are sure that this meet would be yet another successful one.
Student Team Leader's Massege
On behalf of the delegation from Pakistan, I wish to extend my cordial greetings to those participating in the 14th edition of the South Asian Economics Student’s Meet (SAESM) on the theme ‘Sustaining South Asia’ organized by the South Asian Network on Economic Modelling (SANEM) and I thank for this initiative. As in the past, this conference has embodied a diversity of themes presented by students from different countries in South Asia. This illuminates the plurality of interests and perspectives conducive to inclusive policies into a single setting. I hope you take benefit of this wonderful prodigy of diversity and contribute, through presentations, discourse and competitions, to the development and transfiguration of novel ideas and new trajectories in economic research and public policy. The theme for this year’s conference is the ‘Sustainable Development Goals’ and their application to the uplifting and sustainability of the South Asian region. This is quite a thought-provoking subject, especially when applied to a region which according to the Global Competitiveness Report 2016-2017 by the World Economic Forum, has surpassed China is economic momentum for the first time in 20 years, making it the fastest growing region in the world. However, despite recent progression, the region still faces many of the core challenges and unfulfilled agendas as highlighted in the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). All of the SDGs reflect a shared moral principle that no individual and no country should be left behind in achieving a diverse range of policy objectives. I believe that this is especially relevant for Pakistan which has been the only economy that failed to ameliorate its macro-economic environment and health and primary education levels, falling behind its neighboring South Asian countries. A more proactive and robust policy mechanism is much needed to garnish and unlock the economic potential of the regional members, augment inter-regional and global competitiveness and ameliorate the economic outlook of the member countries. SAESM provides an opportunity to achieve the afore-mentioned tasks by eliciting a young student’s perspective into this invigorating debate. By providing a mutual platform, it seeks to engender an environment where member countries can debate, discuss and seek solutions to the pressing economic issues of the day. The rigorous academic agenda of the conference provides a great opportunity for countries to learn from each other’s experiences to further their understanding of how economics works in the real world. On behalf of the team from Pakistan, we look forward to the sessions of constructive debate and fruitful discourses on the pressing economic issues of the region and expect it to be an excellent learning opportunity for students from all the member countries.
Past SAESM Participants
The idea behind the first SAESM in 2003 was to provide a platform for the South Asian undergraduate economics students to interact with each other, exchange ideas, and discuss economic issues in an out of the class environment. For me, SAESM is undoubtedly the most cherished part of my undergraduate life as I got the chance to be part of three consecutive SAESMs. I got introduced to SAESM in 2013 when I was given the responsibility of hosting the Indian delegation. SAESM gave me an opportunity to befriend fellow South Asians and those friendships continue to date. As soon as the applications for SAESM 2014 opened, I applied to be part of the Pakistani delegation and was selected. The learning which took place during the process of writing my first SAESM paper was much more than that through any regular university course. That experience gave me a taste of the professional life of a researcher and it led me to pursue my career as a researcher in the field of Economics. Thus it would not be wrong to say that to a great extent SAESM defines who I currently am. SAESM Bhutan became significant as I won the award for best paper. My third and last experience of SAESM as a student was earlier this year in Sri Lanka, where I got the chance to lead the Pakistani delegation at the Meet. The paper which I presented this time was an empirical paper on the debate regarding the role of institutions in South Asian development. like the last time, the preparation of the paper was a great learning experience where I got to read prominent economists like Darron Acemoglu, James Robinson, Douglas North, and Ha Joon Chang.As far as the trip to Sri Lanka is concerned, I witnessed how a country after years of civil war was able to lift itself from the mess and was now successfully treading on the path to development. I realized that other South Asian countries need to learn from Sri Lanka is to uplift human capital by investing heavily in education and health. To conclude, I would say that I am thankful to SAESM because it gave me the chance to grow intellectually and establish cross-border friendships and create memories that would last a lifetime. I would encourage South Asian students to be part of this great endeavor and continue the legacy of friendship, bonding, and shared learning.