ISLAMABAD, Pakistan – The D-8 Summit started in Islamabad, Pakistan, today, and the Prime Minister of Pakistan, Raja Pervez Ashraf, inaugurated the four-day D-8 exhibition. Addressing the exhibition, Prime Minister Raja Pervaiz Ashraf said he was confident that D-8 is capable of achieving a $500 billion trade target till 2018 and the exhibition will bring the business community of the member countries closer, will help in deepening trade, and will open new vistas for joint ventures. He invited the member countries to take full benefit of the potential his country is offering. Later, the Prime Minister went around to various stalls of the exhibition and was briefed about the products put on display.
Leaders of eight developing countries arrived on the invitation of President Asif Ali Zardari, said Foreign Minister Hina Rabbani Khar while addressing a press conference on Monday. She said that the event, which coincided with the 15th anniversary of the founding of D-8, would focus on the theme of “Democratic Partnership for Peace and Prosperity” as all the eight participants were vibrant democracies.
Hina said that Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi, Indonesian President
Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, Nigerian President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan, and Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan are in attendance. Malaysia is to be represented by the Deputy Prime Minister while a special representative from Bangladesh will also attend the summit, she added.
Replying to a question regarding alleged refusal of the Bangladeshi Prime Minister over a written apology for 1971 crimes, the Foreign Minister rejected the reports, saying that she had personally visited Bangladesh and she was not given any such demand. Hina said that she was warmly welcomed by the Bangladeshi leadership and all such reports of demanding an apology from Pakistan were absolutely wrong. Explaining the reasons for not attending the D-8 summit by the Bangladeshi Prime Minister, the Foreign Minister said that doctors had advised her not to travel due to some eye ailment.
The D-8 Business Forum and Meeting of Heads of Central Banks will be held tomorrow. Pakistan is hosting the 8th D-8 Summit and 15th Session of
D-8 Council Ministers and 32nd Session of D-8 Commission from November 19-22, 2012. The establishment of D-8 was announced officially through the Istanbul Declaration of Summit of Heads of State/Government on June 15, 1997.
The objectives of the D-8 Organization for Economic Cooperation are to improve member states’ position in the global economy, diversify and create new opportunities in trade relations, enhance participation in decision-making at the international level, and improve standards of living.
D-8 is a global arrangement rather than a regional one, as the composition of its members reflects. The Organization for Economic Cooperation (D-8) is a forum with no adverse impact on bilateral and multi-lateral commitments of the member countries, emanating from their membership to other international or regional organizations.
Dr. Widi Agoes Pratikto from Indonesia is currently the Secretary General of the D-8 Organization with its Secretariat based in Istanbul-Turkey.
The idea of cooperation among major Muslim developing countries was mooted by Dr. Necmettin Erbakan, the then Prime Minister of Turkey, during a seminar on “Cooperation in Development” which was held in Istanbul in October 1996. The group envisioned cooperation among countries stretching from Southeast Asia to Africa. Representatives from Bangladesh, Egypt, Indonesia, Iran, Malaysia, Nigeria, and Pakistan attended the seminar. This conference was the first step towards the establishment of D-8, and it was only after a series of preparatory meetings that D-8 was set up officially and began its activities with the Istanbul Declaration issued at the end of the summit of Heads of State and Government held in Istanbul on June 15, 1997.
Foreign Minister Hina Rabbani Khar said that the D-8 summit was of extraordinary significance as it would adopt the organization’s charter and its global vision. The leaders will witness signing of the charter by the foreign ministers at a special ceremony following the summit, she added. She said that the leaders would also adopt Islamabad Declaration 2012 reaffirming their joint resolve for making concerted efforts to confront common challenges.
Hina Rabbani Khar said that on the margins of the summit, President Asif Ali Zardari and Prime Minister Raja Pervez Ashraf would hold bilateral meetings with the visiting leaders. She said that the summit would witness the visit of an Egyptian President after four decades and that of a Nigerian leader after around 28 years.
She said that the visit of D-8 leaders to Pakistan would open new vistas for expanding trade and investment relations with all the D-8 countries as the main purpose of the summit was to promote trade, economic ties and promote people-to-people contacts.
Pakistan has the opportunity to improve its image at the regional and international levels when the leaders of these eight developing countries gather for this D-8 summit. The Islamabad summit is a major international event being hosted by Pakistan, which will enhance its image and standing, Foreign Minister Hina Rabbani Khar said. Pakistan will take over the chairmanship of D-8 for the next two years, until 2014.
DATES OF MEETINGS:
32nd Session of the D-8 Commission:
November 20-21, 2012
15th Session of the Council of Ministers:
November 21, 2012
November 22, 2012
INFORMATION ON OTHER MEETINGS AND EVENTS:
D-8 Business Forum:
November 20, 2012
Meeting of Heads of Central Banks:
November 20-21, 2012