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The 33rd Session of the Commissioners of Developing-8 Organization commenced in Islamabad on 2 September, 2013. Addressing the inaugural session of the meeting, Mr. Sartaj Aziz, Adviser to the Prime Minister on National Security & Foreign Affairs urged the organization to initiate the phase of substantive cooperation by operationalising the agreements related to removing barriers in trade and business, particularly the Preferential Trade Agreement.

Highlighting economic revival as a high priority of the Government, the adviser said that this was the reason that the decision to join the D-8 was taken by Prime Minister Muhammad Nawaz Sharif over 15 years ago who attended the first historical summit of the organization in Istanbul in June 1997.

The Adviser proposed to the member countries to evolve a mechanism of cooperation in the energy sector, as the energy crisis is becoming a daunting challenge. He informed that Pakistan was in the process of organizing the first meeting of D-8 Energy Forum in Islamabad. He suggested that the member countries can take initiatives in cooperation in capacity building, transfer of technology, transfer of capital & labour, energy and food security, Islamic banking, and halal sector development.

Later in a meeting with the D-8 Secretary-General Dr. Seyed Ali Mohammad Mousavi, the Adviser to the Prime Minister proposed ways to fast track the implementation of trade and visa agreements. He expressed the hope that the D-8 Preferential Trade Agreement will be implemented soon. The D-8 Secretary-General thanked the Adviser for organizing the Commission Meeting and appreciated Pakistan’s active role in the D-8 activities. He assured support of his organization in expediting the implementation of D-8 agreements which envisage current intra-D-8 trade of US$ 150 billion to increase to US$ 500 billion by 2018.

The D-8 Commissioners from member countries (Bangladesh, Egypt, Indonesia, Iran, Malaysia, Nigeria, Pakistan and Turkey) and D-8 Secretary-General Dr. Mousavi are attending the two-day meeting.

02 September 2013

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