Islamic nations in Nigeria for D-8 summit to deepen trade ties

Eight developing Islamic economies aim to reach a preferential trade agreement by next year to try to double trade and deepen economic cooperation.

Islamic nations in Nigeria for D-8 summit to deepen trade ties

Eight developing Islamic economies aim to reach a preferential trade agreement by next year to try to double trade and deepen economic cooperation, government officials said on Thursday.

The 7th Summit of Heads of State and Government of Developing 8 (D-8) has begun in Nigerian capital Abuja.

President Abdullah Gul and Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad are attending the summit.

During the summit, Malaysia handed over rotating presidency of the D-8 to Nigeria.

Making opening remarks of the summit, President Goodluck Jonathan of Nigeria said that the theme of the summit was set as "Enhancing Investment Cooperation among D-8 Members" in an effort to further improve cooperation ties among the D-8 member states.

"Our target is to increase D-8's trade volume up to 1.7 trillion USD in 2012," he said and highlighted importance of development of sea transportation to reach their target.

President Jonathan proposed the member states to organize business forums on sea transportation.

Heads of state and ministers from the D8 -- Iran, Nigeria, Bangladesh, Egypt, Indonesia, Malaysia, Pakistan and Turkey -- are meeting in Nigeria to discuss developing business ties and reducing trade barriers.

"While the role of government as a catalyst and enabler of economic growth remains pivotal, the primary driver of this process must be the private sector," Jonathan told the summit in the capital Abuja.

"Road map"


Trade between the member nations of the D8, which was created in 1997 to try to foster economic cooperation between developing Islamic nations, is estimated at around $68 billiona year, or about 3 percent of global trade.

The D8 Commission on Monday in Abuja established a Preferential Trade Agreement (PTA) to facilitate the improvement of investment and economic cooperation among member states.

D8 member states should realise the movement has not been able to fully attain its objectives, Malaysian Deputy Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin said Thursday.

He said trade statistics among D8 countries may appear to be positive but this success may be mainly due to existing bilateral trade initiatives rather than benefiting from the cooperation and initiatives of the D8 as an organisation.

They should be looking at real economic collaborations among member states, supporting investment and economic ventures to enhance their economic collaborative goals, he told the summit.

"I am positive that this theme will stimulate and provide us with a useful perimeter for discussions that we have before us at this summit, especially the current state of affairs of the D8 and how to advance our cooperation for our mutual benefit," he said.

Therefore, he said, Malaysia has proposed the D8 programmes and activities be re-assessed and strategised to be in line with the list of five priority areas of cooperation and the D8 Road Map.

The priority areas are trade; agriculture and food security; industrial cooperation, small and medium enterprise; transportation; energy and minerals.

The Road Map has set intra-trade among D8 members be raised to at least between 15 and 20 per cent of the global trade by 2018.

Muhyiddin also said the D8 had finalised and signed three agreements, namely Simplification of Visa Procedures for D8 Businessmen; Preferential Trade Agreement Amongst D8 Member States; and Multilateral Agreement on Administrative Assistance in Customs Matters.

He said only the agreement on simplification of visa procedures for businessmen has been enforced but has not been ratified by three member states.

The main traded goods within the bloc include petroleum products from Nigeria, petrochemicals and edible oils from Malaysia, consumer goods, cars and basic raw materials such as rubber.

"The aim is to double trade in the next five years," Abdul Qadir Memon, Pakistan's deputy secretary at the commerce ministry, said on the sidelines of the meeting.

"The most important step is the preferential trade agreement which we are aiming to operationalise by Jan 1, 2011, that is the target date ... We thought that by 2006 we would have been able to implement the agreement but unfortunately there have been delays," he said.

"Agenda"


This year's summit of D-8 will reinforce and sharpen the economic cooperation among member countries through sharing of expertise in the fields of energy, transport, tourism, banking, financial institution, infrastructural development, human resources development, science and technology, migrant workers and remittances, small and medium scale enterprises as well as information and communication technology. All these corporations are with the view to improving the well being of its peoples in a global economy. Also, it is aimed at boosting the participation of member States in the process of decision making at the international level.

At the end of the Summit, Abuja Declaration will be released. This declaration will address issues that could help cushion the effects and challenges facing D-8 member States on: global economic recession, world energy question, climate change and global warming as they affect agriculture and food security, transportation, and matters on world trade.

Established in 1997 to promote economic cooperation and solidarity within the member states, D-8 is an arrangement for development cooperation among the following countries: Bangladesh, Egypt, Indonesia, Iran, Malaysia, Nigeria, Pakistan and Turkey. Its headquarters is in Istanbul.



Agencies

Güncelleme Tarihi: 08 Temmuz 2010, 16:17

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