Srinagar, Feb 14: 

J&K’s first-of-its-kind and broad-based economic conclave – J&K Economic Conclave, 2019 – will be held in Gulmarg on February 27-28, 2019.

The event, structured on the pattern of the annual World Economic Forum, Davos, is expected to bring diverse business interests and policy makers of Jammu & Kashmir state together to discuss the current business environment, challenges and solutions and new ideas to give a fillip to the state’s struggling economy.

The event is being organised by Ziraat Times, in collaboration with Kashmir Hoteliers’ Club,  J&K Bank, J&K Private Schools Association, Farm Agro Fresh,  Tourism Department, Arco Group of Companies, Kashmir Mahal Resorts, FM Radio Mirchi, Space Communications and a few other private companies of J&K state.

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This event is expected to bring together businessmen, industrialists, traders, business leaders, entrepreneurs, policy makers, thought leaders, economic thinkers and writers, academia drawn from across J&K. Some eminent economists, business and economy columnists from outside J&K are expected to participate in the event as well.

Some of the panel discussion sessions at the conclave include “J&K Economy – Addressing Challenges, Magnifying Opportunities, Business Success Stories of J&K – Fostering Hope, Reigniting Positive Energy, Agri-businesses: Harnessing the bounties of Rs 25,000 crore sector, Tourism: Addressing the slump, Logistics: Overcoming the Nightmare of Srinagar-Jammu Highway, Labour market: Talent and the Motivation Crisis, Sustainable development, environmental protection and solid waste management in J&K: challenges and a way forward, Handicrafts: Recreating the Past Glory, Communications and Information Technology: Thinking of Jobs Creation, Higher Education in J&K: Re-Imagining Sustainable Business Models.”

Jammu & Kashmir’s economy is going through some of its toughest times today. Manufacturing and other industries are struggling for viability and growth. Although in quantum terms the state’s Gross State Domestic Product (GSDP) remains impressive, the Per Capita Income (PCI) is still one of the lowest in the country. Industry sector has almost hit a cul de sac due to stiffer competition from goods manufactured outside the state. The services sector is dogged by severe operational and supply chain hiccups. The agriculture sector reels under the twin problems of low productivity and diminishing incomes. Overall, the state’s reliance on imports has risen manifold with the exports shrinking every year. The youth bulge is stark, with over 150,000 educated young people aspiring to enter the job market each year, with little or no jobs.

The skills-job market needs mismatch is aggravating the joblessness problem in Jammu & Kashmir state today. With the private sector struggling for viability and growth, the government sector continues to be seen as the job provider of first choice. The cumulative impact of this situation is manifesting in decreased sustainability of businesses, below-potential economic growth, subdued investment environment and acute joblessness in Jammu & Kashmir today.

J&K Economic Conclave is designed as an event where business leaders and practitioners of J&K’s industry, services and agriculture sectors will get an opportunity to talk about their issues, challenges, future ideas for growth and their suggestions for policy transformation and practices. It is an event which will comprise of a series of panel discussions and workshops, which will be attended by businessmen, industrialists, traders, business leaders and entrepreneurs, policy makers, thought leaders, economic thinkers and writers, academia drawn from across J&K. A few economic thinkers and experts, with expertise in new economy transformation, will be invited from outside J&K as well.

What J&K Economic Conclave 2019 Seeks to Achieve

Jammu & Kashmir’s GSDP was Rs. 140,886 crore in 2017-18. This figure reflects an economic promise – both in terms of what has been achieved so far and the bubbling untapped growth potential. Despite several political challenges, J&K’s economy maintains a remarkable double-digit annual economic growth, impressive tax revenue growth and a visible improvement in the quality of life of its citizens. However, innumerable challenges remain.

An inclusive, multi-layered and outcome-oriented reflection, involving J&K’s business community, economic experts and potential investors can immensely help in identifying the hiccups faced by the economy, unravel new ideas and foster new investment engagements and partnerships.

J&K Economic Conclave 2019 is an idea to help make a collective reflection happen in Jammu & Kashmir on the major economic challenges confronted by the state. It is an endeavour that is aimed at pooling fresh ideas and identifying an actionable plan that could give a fillip to the state’s economy. It is also designed to talk about the imperatives of the Fourth Industrial Revolution, put J&K in its larger context and reflect on how best to meet the challenges of the emerging global and regional economic situation. It is intended to foster hope and reigniting positive energy. It is expected to bring the business communities of Kashmir, Jammu and Ladakh together in a collective reflection towards generating ideas for collaborations, investment and networking.

J&K Economic Conclave is planned to be held in what is christened as South Asia’s Davos – Gulmarg. The choice of Gulmarg is guided by the desire to provide a tranquil and soothing natural environment to diverse participants to debate and discuss issues of common interest. It is also guided by an urge to attract wider media attention, generate excitement and positive news about J&K and revive wider interest in J&K as a tourist destination of first choice in the country. A winter haven like Gulmarg, draped in mesmerising snow at this time of the year, is expected to provide an ideal setting to business and thought leaders to discuss business, share new ideas, analyse challenges, devise solutions and forge collaborations.