Pakistan to host D-8 commission meeting today

ISLAMABAD, Sept 1: Pakistan will host the 33rd session of the D-8 Commission in Islamabad on Sept 2-3.

The D-8 commissioners from member countries — Bangladesh, Egypt, Indonesia, Iran, Malaysia, Nigeria, Pakistan and Turkey — and D-8 Secretary-General Dr Seyed Ali Mohammad Mousavi will attend the meeting.

The meeting will review progress on intra-D8 relations in the context of the roadmap of cooperation from 2008 to 2018. The two-day event, which comes at a time when the government is attaching importance to economic diplomacy, will be inaugurated by Prime Minister’ Adviser on National Security and Foreign Affairs Sartaj Aziz.

During the D-8 summit held in Islamabad on Nov 22, Pakistan assumed the chairmanship of the D-8 which will continue till 2014.

The commissioners’ meeting is the first in a series of talks which Pakistan will host as follow-up to the Islamabad summit.

During the Islamabad summit last year, leaders adopted key documents, including the organisation’s charter and its global vision for next two decades, apart from adopting the Islamabad Declaration 2012.

One of the key points on the agenda of the Islamabad meeting is the review of D-8 agreements relating to trade and business among member countries.

Pakistan has ratified all agreements, including the Preferential Trade Agreement which is likely to be put into operation during its chairmanship.

On the sidelines of the meeting, Dr Mousavi will hold talks with Mr Aziz and Syed Tariq Fatemi, the Special Assistant to Prime Minister.

Mr Fatemi will host a lunch for the D-8 secretary-general and the commissioners.

D-8 is a multilateral grouping of eight emerging economies of the Muslim world that represent different regions. The organisation was set up in 1997 and Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif as one of its founding leaders had attended the inaugural summit in Istanbul.

The organisation represents a combined population of one billion and a market of about $1 trillion. The member countries envisage increasing intra-D8 trade to over $500 billion by 2018.

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