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Aspiring Economists Converge on Nepal to Exchange Solutions Towards a Green South Asia

December 18, 2012


Students from across South Asia discuss sustinable development solutions at the 9th South Asia Economic Students Meet (SAESM) in Kathmandu, Nepal.

Joe Qian/World Bank

The 9th annual South Asia Economic Students Meet (SAESM) kicks off in Kathmandu to tackle shared environmental challenges.

Kathmandu, December 18, 2012: Top economic students from across South Asia arrived in Nepal for the 9th annual South Asia Economic Students’ Meet (SAESM), which begins today. The event provides a unique platform for students to bring fresh perspectives and share innovative research to promote mutual understanding of common development challenges through cross-cultural exchange.

The theme this year, “Towards a Green South Asia,” once again unites budding economists from Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Nepal, Pakistan, and Sri Lanka in an effort to share and discuss creative solutions on sustainable development throughout the region. The meeting will last until December 22nd and will include presentations, interactive competitions, and expert-led discussions on an array of topics on sustainable development in South Asia.

The World Bank, the primary partner for this year’s SAESM, has been a consistent supporter of the event due to its emphasis on regional cooperation and youth engagement. “In supporting this meeting, the World Bank is promoting regional integration in South Asia, connecting people across the Region as a way of lowering barriers to greater integration and peaceful prosperity,” said Isabel Guerrero, Vice President, South Asia Region at the World Bank. “This event taps into the creative ideas of young economists on how South Asia can grow economically without harming its environment that is a precious resource for so many of its people.”

Dr. Bishwambher Pyalkuryal, Coordinator for SAESM 2012 and Professor of Economics at Tribhuvan University, said the goal is to create awareness among promising South Asian economics students that green economic development has the potential to reduce environmental risks and ecological scarcities, “Collaborative efforts are needed to maintain a development path that can rebuild natural capital as critical economic assets, especially for the poor, whose livelihoods and security depend largely on nature,” he said.

Hosted this year by Tribhuvan University in Nepal, a country with immense cultural and ecological richness, SAESM has been held in New Delhi, Lahore, Dhaka, and Colombo since 2004. The in-depth discussions in the distinctive Himalayan environment are expected to provide meaningful recommendations in establishing linkages between the environment, economy, and sustainable development.

According to former participant Tashmina Rahman from Bangladesh, “SAESM was an invaluable multicultural experience and provided me with the opportunity to become part of a powerful network of like-minded youth.”

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Joe Qian
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