ICCI for increasing cooperation among D-8 countries


The Developing 8 countries (D8) should diversify their economies by creating new opportunities via increased trade relations with an objective to improve the position of Muslim developing countries in the global world.
These remarks were made by Mr.Zafar Bakhtawari, President Islamabad Chamber of Commerce & Industry (ICCI) during a meeting at Chamber House. He said the D-8 member states must strengthen their technological and industrial cooperation to consolidate national economies and ensure accelerated economic growth and development.
ICCI President said that the trade among member states was stood around $129billion that is only 6 percent of the world trade which needs to be increased by promoting business-to-business linkages among the member countries. He said that there is no doubt that agriculture and food security, transportation, energy and industries, including small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), are major priority areas of cooperation among the D-8 countries.
He was of the view that implementation of tariff concessions under the preferential trade agreement is need of the hour which would lead the D8 community towards Free Trade agreements as well as greater economic integration. ICCI President urged the D8 countries to achieve the $500billion trade target which is set by Prime Minister of Pakistan, Raja Pervaiz Ashraf through bringing closer the business community of the member countries which would help in deepening our trade and open new vistas for joint ventures.
Bakhtawari said that D8 countries have large Muslim population which is 60 percent of the entire Muslims population have huge cheap labour force, potential human resource, vast internal market, scope for rapid technology transfer and relatively common social value systems. Therefore, we need now is to strengthen our mutual cooperation, communication and initiative through exchange of expertise, knowledge and transfer of renewable technology.
He said that Islamic countries own major production of oil and other valuable natural resources but the trade volume of these countries with Europe and America is far greater as compared to their mutual trade. Thus, the level of economic and commercial cooperation among Muslim countries should be increased, he maintained.
Commenting upon the geographical location of Pakistan, ICCI President urged the other Muslim countries to invest in Pakistani areas such as energy, power, infrastructure housing, oil and gas exploration and Halal food products as there was enormous potential and prospects of cooperation with Muslim states in all the sectors.