Istanbul: Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi while ddressing the ninth summit of the Developing Eight (D-8) Organization in Istanbul on Friday has noted that the organisation had fallen short of meeting its trade and economic goals, Radio Pakistan reported.
The prime minister noted the need to identify impediments that had stood in the way of achieving the organisation’s objectives and urged members to take measures to strengthen the partnership between them.
Abbasi urged the member countries to focus on the implementation of projects for development, progress and prosperity of the people of the member countries, expressing hope for greater economic cooperation.
The prime minister also highlighted the need for member countries to have a louder voice on the international platform, the state-run broadcaster added.
While handing over the chairmanship of the organisation to Turkey, PM Abbasi assured that the country would have Pakistan’s full backing and support in achieving the organisation’s aims.
Prime Minister Abbasi said Pakistan assumed the Chair of D-8 Organization for Economic Cooperation in November 2012 at the eighth Summit in Islamabad, which adopted two landmark documents: the D-8 Charter and the Global Vision. These documents have provided the essential basis for our joint endeavours, he added.
The Prime Minister said as Chair, Pakistan made every effort to proactively lead the Organization towards the realization of its objectives and vision. It was a privilege for us to host the Summit Meeting, two sessions of the Council and four sessions of the D-8 Commission and a number of Sectoral meetings since November 2012, he added.
Another significant milestone achieved during this period was the Observer Status for D-8 at the United Nations, he said, adding, this status enabled the Organization to closely interact with various UN agencies and affiliated institutions for cooperative arrangements in priority areas for us.
The status has also given the D-8 an enhanced profile and standing at the international level, he remarked.
The Prime Minister said, “As we gather here to renew our collective pledge to strengthen mutually beneficial cooperation, we must also take stock of the progress made so far on trade and economic partnership goals we set for ourselves. This Summit is a good opportunity for us to identify and remove the impediments in the way of achieving the Organization’s objectives.”
He said twenty years ago, a shared vision motivated the leaders of our countries to establish this Organization to promote cooperation in the key areas of agriculture, industry, SMEs, trade, transportation, energy and tourism. “However, the progress achieved so far falls short of our expectations, necessitating measures to accelerate momentum for stronger partnership,” he added.
The Prime Minister pointed towards the stagnation of intra D-8 trade, after an initial increase, adding, the apprehension is that the target of US $ 500 billion in 2018, envisaged in the 2008 Kuala Lumpur Summit Roadmap, might remain elusive.
“It is, therefore, important for us to fully implement various instruments and agreements aimed at facilitating trade amongst member states, especially those related to Preferential Trade, Small and Medium Enterprises, Customs, Simplification of Visa matters and Civil Aviation. This would certainly pave the way for substantial increase intra D-8 trade,”, he added.
The Prime Minister said sectoral meetings at the ministerial level have already chalked out the roadmaps. Now is the time to start implementation. There may be challenges, but there are also opportunities like never before, he added.
“While it is imperative for the governments of member countries to facilitate trade and investment by adopting the necessary legal framework for investment protection and creating an enabling environment for business in their respective countries, it is the private sector that can make the best use of emerging opportunities for trade and joint ventures. It is, therefore, of utmost importance that we also actively promote entrepreneurship in our countries,” he added.
The Prime Minister said, “The 20th Anniversary of the D-8 is an occasion for us to renew our commitment to the accelerated realization of its vision and objectives. As a group, the D-8 has vast potential and resources.”
“However, realising our combined potential and optimising our collective resources requires cooperation and collaboration amongst us at every level and every field. Only then will we be able to attain the critical synergy that will bring shared, secure and sustainable prosperity to our nations,” he added.
The Prime Minister said while he was certain that the Organization would continue to move steadily along the path of even more robust economic cooperation, it was also their sincere desire to see the D-8 enter the project-implementation phase with clear focus on the development, progress and prosperity of our peoples.
“We also aspire for it to have a stronger voice at the international level,” he added.
The Prime Minister handed over to Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, the Chair of the D-8 Organization for Economic Cooperation.
“Mr. President, I congratulate you on assuming the Chair of the D-8 Summit. I am confident that your wisdom, sagacity, dynamism and firm commitment will bring new vigour to the D-8 Organization for Economic Cooperation,” he added.
The Prime Minster said he and his delegation were deeply touched by the warm welcome and hospitality they received ever since their arrival. “I must commend the Government of Turkey for the excellent arrangements made for this Summit,” he added.
The Prime Minister also expressed his profound appreciation to Secretary General Seyed Ali Mohammad Mousavi for efficiently steering the agenda of the D-8 Organization For Economic Cooperation during his tenure in office.
“On behalf of the people and government of Pakistan, I assure you of our full support and cooperation in our collective efforts to achieve tangible results. In Pakistan, you will always find a willing partner and friend,” he added.
President of Turkey Recep Tayyip Erdogan also addressed the opening session of the Summit and spoke on various challenges faced by the Muslim world in general and the member states in particular in different spheres of life including the economic development.
The D-8 Organization for Economic Cooperation aims to facilitate cooperation in the field of development includes Bangladesh, Iran, Turkey, Malaysia, Egypt, Indonesia and Nigeria.