OIC to play effective role in economic integration of Islamic world: Jailani

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Deputy Minister for Foreign Affairs, Asian Pacific and African Affairs of Indonesia, Abdul Kadir Jailani on Thursday said that the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) platform can play an effective role in economic integration as well as economic relations in the Islamic world.

The OIC also promotes political, diplomatic, cultural and economic co-operation among Islamic countries, bringing them closer together, he expressed these views during an exclusive interview with APP after attending OIC meeting here at Parliament House, Islamabad.

By increasing economic and trade cooperation, the Islamic countries of different regions of the world can provide major opportunities for mutual economic and investment.

He said that Pakistan and Indonesia are the two largest Islamic countries in terms of population with a combined population of 500 million, which is a potential market for economic and trade cooperation and could open new avenues for bilateral economic cooperation.

Bilateral trade volume between the two countries is $2.6 billion, which is likely to increase further in the near future, he said.

The Deputy Minister for Foreign Affairs said that both sides are working to enhance bilateral economic, trade, diplomatic, political and cultural cooperation, and new avenues of cooperation will open up in this regard in the future.

He said that Indonesia could provide Pakistan with opportunities for trade and economic activities in the Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEANs) market with a population of 750 million, which would enhance the growth of trade between the two countries.

Indonesia can be a gateway for Pakistan in ASEAN countries in this regard, he said.

The Deputy Foreign Minister said that ASEAN is currently an emerging economic bloc in the world economically and commercially with free trade and other agreements with various countries including China and Pacific Asia through which Pakistan can reap the benefits through Indonesia.

He said that Pakistan and Indonesia already have a preliminary agreement on the Preferential Trade Agreement (PTA), which has boosted bilateral trade in various sectors.

Talks are underway between the two sides to promote trade between the two countries, which cannot be ruled out in the future as the Free Trade Agreement (FTA) will be signed between the two countries.

He said that after signing of the FTA ,bilateral trade and economic activities between both of the countries will be increased.—APP

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