The Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers (SIAM) has proposed setting up a South Asian Automotive Forum, with participation of industry associations and government representatives from Bangladesh, India, Myanmar, Nepal and Sri Lanka. The objective of the forum is to further trade and establish a strong automotive industry in the South Asian Region; along with a goal to widen and deepen the relationship between the automotive industries in all the five South Asian countries.
SIAM’s proposal came up during the first meeting held between the associations of all the five countries. The associations 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).
Commenting on the proposal, Rakesh Sharma, chairman – SIAM Exports Group and Executive Director, Bajaj Auto said, “A large share of our automobile exports, about 16% amounting to US$ 1.8 billion (Rs 12,895 crore) 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. 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.”
The multi-pronged proposal by SIAM covers various elements in detail and is aimed at building a more comprehensive relationship between the automotive industries in all the five countries. It is a full-stack four-point proposal that emphasises on exchange of views and information on topics of mutual interest for all the participating organisations, organising joint conferences, seminars and trade shows, organising business meetings: manufacturer–manufacturer and supplier–manufacturer, and 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 automotive policies including in the areas of homologation, scrappage, road safety and other developments in the mobility space. Sharing of infrastructure can also be envisaged.
Four-point proposal for exchange of views and information, joint conferences, seminars and trade shows, B2B meetings and delegation visits to manufacturing, testing and scrappage facilities.