CAPTION: Hon Dr Neil Sharma, the Minister for Health, Government of Fiji lighting the lamp. Photo: SUPPLIED.
The first Pacific Regional Economic conference at Nadi was organised on Saturday, 4 May 2013 by the World Hindu Economic Forum (WHEF). The theme is “Making the South Pacific community prosperous”.
Dr Neil Sharma, the Minister for Health, Government of Fiji inaugurated the conference. In his opening address, the Health Minister mentioned that for socio economic growth and development, education and health play important roles. He emphasised on ‘Vidhya Dhan’ (supporting education) and the traditional medicinal systems such as Ayurveda.
In his presentation, Mr Vinod Kumar, India’s High Commissioner to Fiji, said there is a potential to increase trade between India and Fiji and the forums such as this would definitely help. He also said Fiji’s location and beauty will attract more movie makers to this country.
In his welcoming address, Mr Jay Dayal, the coordinator of this Forum, mentioned that the purpose is to make the whole pacific community prosperous from a Hindu perspective.
Prof Gautam Sen, who has taught at the London School of Economics, spoke on organising Hindu businesses globally, developing services and policy goals for Hindu business. He emphasised on promoting ethical business practice and improve common welfare with an ultimate goal in achieving greater prosperity and abolishing poverty, especially in developing countries.
Swami Vigyananand, the founder of WHEF, gave the background of the movement. The WHEF promotes activities to make society prosperous, primarily through the generation and sharing of material wealth in a manner that does not cause environmental destruction. He said economic prosperity is the basis to sustain a civilization, quoting Chanakya’s Arthshastra “Dharmasya Moolam Arthah”.
Other key people who presented papers at this Forum included the Vice-chancellor of Fiji National University Dr Ganesh Chand, the Chairperson of Fiji Commerce Commission Dr Mahendra Reddy and the Chair of the Oceania Development Network and Professor of Economics at the University of South Pacific Prof Biman Prasad.
Dr Ganesh Chand spoke on the importance of businesses supporting the tertiary educational institutions through research and development, and sponsoring scholarships for deserving students as part of social responsibility; Dr Mahendra Reddy spoke on the prosperity, business ethics and economic growth: some observations from Fiji; and Prof Biman Prasad on the business environment and economic performance in the Pacific.
There were two workshops: “Young Hindu Business Leaders” and “Developing Entrepreneurship Among Women”. In the first workshop, Divesh Lal spoke on the importance of mentoring, and how businesses should provide assistance to young people in the organisation. In the second workshop, Ms Rajneesh Lata Charan, said that the role of business women in economic development is inevitable. Women are also willing to take up business and contribute to the Nation’s growth.
The last session “Where to from here?” was chaired by Noel Lal from Australia and Prof Guna Magesan from Fiji. While Mr Lal mentioned gave the background, Prof Magesan mentioned about the future plans including conferences happening around the globe and invited all to the next conference in Bangkok. Mr Vinod Kumar from New Zealand gave the vote of thanks.
For more information, please email firstname.lastname@example.org or contact Mr Jay Dayal on (679) 992 9605.