D-8 countries agree to promote intra-state cooperation

Founder Editor Tazeen Akhtar..

ISLAMABAD, Nov. 22 (DNA): D-8 countries have agreed to further promote intra-state trade and economic relations, said Islamabad Declaration signed by the leaders of D-8 leaders in Islamabad on Thursday.It said efforts will be made for peace‚ tolerance and strengthening of democracy. Democracy is the only system which can help boost economy. The declaration also said that private sector will be involved for enhancement of intra trade among the member countries. Besides‚ relations with the G-20‚ OIC‚ Arab League‚ ECO and SAARC will further be improved.

Earlier, the 8th Summit of D-8 Countries held in Islamabad to consider issues relating to trade and economic cooperation among the member states. The theme of the Conference was 'Democratic partnership for peace and prosperity'.

The Summit also affords an opportunity to the leaders of the participating countries to exchange views on bilateral relations and regional and international issues.

Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad‚ Indonesia President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono‚ Nigernian President Goodluck Jonathan‚ Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan‚ Malaysian Deputy Prime Minister Haji Muhyiddin Mohammad Yassin‚ Egyptian Vice President Mahmoud Mekki and Advisor of Bangladeshi Prime Minister Dr. Syed Ali Gowher Rizvi attended the Summit.

The Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan in his remarks at the D-8 Summit explained achievements during the last two years under his chairmanship.

He said the volume of trade was enhanced to the highest possible level during this period. He said enforcement of trade agreements among the member states was the major success of the D-8. Likewise ratification by almost all the member states of Preferential Trade Agreement and Visa Facilitation was an important success.

The Nigerian President said Pakistan has played an active role in the D-8 which is appreciable. He said adoption of various documents in Islamabad is a tribute to the vision of leaders of the D-8 countries.

Later‚ he handed over the chairmanship of the D-8 to President Asif Ali Zardari for the next two years. Secretary General D-8‚ Widi Pratikto in his report paid appreciation to Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan for his wise participation in the activities of the D-8.

He said we have steady development since Abuja D-8 conference. He said our agenda include continuing efforts to improve the lives of our people and to eliminate poverty from the area.

He hoped that the summit would find a role model to move forward to meet the challenges of our people. He said we have to adopt realistic and practical steps to narrow the gap of poverty.

Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has said D-8 countries need to stand together to overcome the complex challenges and injustices of the current world system.

Speaking at the D-8 Summit‚ he said the gulf between developed and developing countries is rising. He said during the colonial era our resources were captured by the colonial masters who are doing the same under different garbs even today.

He said discrimination in the international arena by using UN Security Council and economic sanctions is a manifestation of hegemonic designs of big powers. He said these tactics are employed to hamper the growth of independent nations.

He said it is clear in Pakistan's case where innocents are being killed in terrorism related incidents. He said this can also be seen in the situation in Gaza where the people are resisting the expansionist policies of Israel.

Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad called upon a new world order that is based on the principles of equality‚ justice and a level playing field.

Addressing the summit‚ Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyovo said to achieve our targets we have to maintain peace and political stability in the region.

He said with the gigantic efforts of the D-8 member countries‚ the poverty line is reducing in these areas. He said we have to maintain a sustainable economic growth of around six per cent in our countries which would ensure creation of more jobs and prosperity.

He said D-8 member countries should explore more avenues in the fields of tourism‚ communication and sea transport. He said food and energy cooperation is also crucial which could be ensured by active participation of government-private-society partnership

Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan said we have to be united to be on the road of development.

He said democracy and development are interlinked. He said D-8 countries are the emerging economies of the world.

Egyptian Vice President Mahmoud Mekki expressed the hope that D-8 would be a more vibrant and dynamic organizations under the auspices of Pakistani leadership. He said we have to achieve our developmental targets through cooperation. He said all the countries have to do joint efforts to curb the menace of terrorism.

Deputy Prime Minister of Malaysia Tan Sri Muhyiddin bin Yassin in his address said theSummit was founded on idea to develop economic cooperation among member states so that their people enjoy the fruits of economic prosperity.

He said trade between the member states is increasing which is an encouraging sign but it needs to be significantly enhanced.