Zarif calls for strengthening D-8 organization

Islamabad, Dec 19, IRNA — Iran’s Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif on Thursday called for strengthening the D-8 organization by enhancing the role of private sector in intra-D-8 cooperation.

He made the remarks while speaking at the 16th Session of Developing Eight (D-8) Council of Ministers meeting in Islamabad.

Expressing his views, the foreign minister said the regional as well as global and economic challenges and financial crises have had far reaching impacts on societies in different parts of the world.

He said this situation has forced the countries to opt collective approaches and multilateral cooperation in various sectors to meet the various challenges taking place.

He viewed that a strategy for regional cooperation will enhance the ability of member states to cope more effectively with the financial crisis.

The minister went on to say that the D-8 has been established to effectively present the Islamic world’s capabilities for enhanced economic cooperation.

“The purpose of the ministerial meeting is to expedite the decision making process amongst the member countries,” he said.

Zarif proposed to increase involvement of the private sector of D-8 members by undertaking various programs.

“Our organization has many outstanding characteristics, mainly a population of over a billion, geopolitical significance in five strategic regions of the world, economic advantages and potentials and 24 percent reserves of the natural gas,” he said.

He noted that the D-8 is committed to become a successful model in regional cooperation.

The minister added that D-8 intra-trade is about 150 US billion dollars which is very low and the member sates should work closely to enhance this number to 500 US billion dollars by 2018.

He viewed that the trade statistics of the D-8 members may be positive but this is mainly due to bilateral trade.

“The Islamic Republic of Iran attaches great importance to meaningful, constant and effective interaction among the D-8 member states,” he said.

The minister viewed that the D-8 members should take joint initiatives for enhanced cooperation.

“In the year 2014, we plan to undertake series of initiatives for increasing Iran’s contribution for the D-8 group. These initiatives will offer new areas of cooperation and would deal with some operational challenges,” said Zarif.



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