Exploit full potential of D-8

NINTH summit of D-8 countries was held in the beautiful Turkish city of Istanbul on Friday in which the leaders of the participating countries took stock of the progress made so far on trade and economic goals and discussed the way forward to exploit the potential of cooperation that exists amongst the member countries. Representing Pakistan at the moot, Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi emphasized for strong trade and economic partnership amongst the member countries through stronger rail, road, and air and sea links.
As the composition of its members reflects, the D-8 is a global arrangement rather than a regional one envisaging cooperation amongst countries stretching from South East Asia to Africa immensely rich both in human and natural resources. Despite all the potential of greater cooperation in different fields, we understand that due to variant reasons, the forum has fallen short of expectations as also pointed by PM Shahid Khaqan Abbasi in his speech necessitating measures to accelerate momentum for stronger partnership. If we take a look at the composition of the D-8, it comprises of Turkey, Malaysia and Indonesia which are ranked amongst the top economies in the world while the other countries including Pakistan, Iran, Nigeria, Egypt and Bangladesh are rich both in human and natural resources. So there is no reason that greater cooperation amongst these states could be a win-win situation for all. It is gratifying to note that the Istanbul summit announced some important steps such as the establishment of a support fund to facilitate the implementation of various projects in the member states. We understand that countries like Pakistan which are reliant on the international lenders can use the fund for completion of infrastructure and energy projects. Similarly, the establishment of energy database will also help the member countries a platform for exchange of experiences on efficient use of energy and its new types. Whilst we have no doubt in saying that under the dynamic chairmanship of the Turkish President, the organization will make headways, steps such as ease in visa restrictions, use of local currencies in trade and removal of other trade barriers will greatly help the member countries to realize in real terms the goals of the organization. Private sectors of the countries should be fully facilitated for joint ventures in different fields if we wanted to bring shared, secure and sustainable prosperity to our peoples.

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