D-8 ministers to discuss trade agreement, private sector role

Islamabad, Dec 16, IRNA – Foreign Ministers from D-8 member countries will meet in Islamabad later this week to adopt the proposals by the Commission to strengthen the D-8 Organization by implementing its key agreements, particularly the Preferential Trade Agreement (PTA), and to enhance the role of private sector in intra-D-8 cooperation.

The meeting on December 19 will also take decisions regarding the way forward in the second life cycle of the organization that will ensue with the 9th Summit in Turkey next year, the Pakistani Foreign Ministry said.

D-8 is a multilateral grouping of eight emerging economies of the Muslim world that represent different regions.

In its capacity as the Chair of the Developing-8 Organization for Economic Development, Pakistan is hosting the 16th Session of the D-8 Council of Ministers in Islamabad.

The Council meeting will be inaugurated and chaired by Mr. Sartaj Aziz, Adviser to the Prime Minister on National Security and Foreign Affairs or other representatives. It will be preceded by 34th Session of the D-8 Commission from 17-18 December, 2013.

The D-8 Commissioners from member countries (Bangladesh, Egypt, Indonesia, Iran, Malaysia, Nigeria, Pakistan and Turkey) and D-8 Secretary-General Seyed Ali Mohammad Mousavi will attend the meetings.

The D-8 meeting is taking place in Islamabad at a time when the Government is pushing ahead with its economic reforms agenda that envisages increased business and commercial linkages with other countries.

“Pakistan attaches importance to the D-8 as it has tremendous potential to unleash wide ranging business and trade activity among the member countries,” the Foreign Ministry said.

The Foreign Ministers of D-8 countries will hold bilateral meetings with the Adviser to the Prime Minister on National Security and Foreign Affairs.

The organization was established in 1997 and Prime Minister Muhammad Nawaz Sharif, as one of the founding leaders, attended the inaugural Summit in Istanbul. The organization reflects combined population of one billion and a market of about one trillion dollars. The member countries envisage increasing intra D-8 trade to over US $500 billion by 2018.

During the D-8 Summit held in Islamabad on 22 November 2012, Pakistan assumed the chairmanship of the D-8 until 2014. The Council and Commission meetings are being organized as follow up to the Islamabad Summit. On 2-3 September 2013, the 33rd Session of the D-8 Commission was held in Islamabad.



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