Indian automobile industry body SIAM on Thursday said it has proposed a South Asian Automotive Forum, with participation of industry associations and government representatives from all the five countries in the region.
The objective of the forum is to further trade and establish a strong automotive industry in South Asia, Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers Association (SIAM) said in a statement.
Besides, the forum would also aim to widen and deepen the relationship between automotive industries in all the five South Asian countries -- Bangladesh, India, Myanmar, Nepal and Sri Lanka, it added.
SIAM said it had proposed this during the recently held first meeting between the associations of all the five countries.
The associations that participated in the meeting included Bangladesh Automobiles Assemblers & Manufacturers Association (BAAMA), Automobiles Association of Nepal (NADA), Myanmar Automobile Manufacturers and Distributors Association (MAMDA) and Ceylon Motor Traders Association (CMTA).
"A large share of our automobile exports, about 16 per cent amounting to USD 1.8 billion per annum, goes to these South Asian countries. Hence, it is important that a forum for discussions be established to ensure sustained and mutually beneficial growth," SIAM Exports Group Chairman Rakesh Sharma, who is also Executive Director at Bajaj Auto said.
He further said several Indian automobile and auto component manufacturing companies have already established factories for manufacturing and assembly in these markets.
"Now the aim is to build a closer engagement within the South Asian Automotive fraternity to support the development of an efficient value chain and serve the large customer base whilst meeting the objectives of the respective governments," Sharma said.
SIAM said the proposed forum is aimed at building a more comprehensive relationship between the automotive industries in all the five countries.
It envisages exchange of views and information on topics of mutual interest for all participating members, organising joint conferences, seminars and trade shows, business meetings between manufacturer and manufacturer, supplier and manufacturer, along with delegation visits to manufacturing facilities, testing facilities and scrappage facilities.
"The proposed forum will also enable the participants to provide better inputs in the shaping of the automotive policies including in the important areas of homologation, scrappage, road safety and other developments in the mobility space. Sharing of infrastructure can also be envisaged," SIAM said.