Developing countries: Pakistan to host D-8 summit on Nov 22

Published: November 2, 2012

Govt sees opportunity to dispel security concerns, improve Pakistan’s image through upcoming gathering.

ISLAMABAD: 

Pakistan is set to host a key summit of developing countries later this month – the first high-profile gathering in recent years that seeks to dispel security concerns of international visitors.

The leaders from D-8, or developing countries, will gather in Islamabad on November 22 to discuss important regional and international issues.

The D-8, which was established in 1997 by former Turkish prime minister Necmettin Erbakan, comprises Pakistan, Iran, Turkey, Malaysia, Egypt, Bangladesh, Nigeria and Indonesia.

The main purpose of the group is to protect the interest of developing countries in the world economy; diversify and create new opportunities in trade relations; enhance participation in decision-making at an international level and provide better standards of living.

The D-8 countries signed a Preferential Trade Agreement in 2006 at the fifth summit to gradually reduce tariffs on specific goods between member-states, with a supervisory committee overseeing the process.

The combined population of the eight countries is about 60% of the Muslim population and close to 13% of the world’s population. The current trade between the D-8 member states stands at over $70 billion. However, the organisation has so far made little impact at the global level.

Opportunity knocks

A foreign ministry official told The Express Tribune that the government would want to use the upcoming gathering of international leaders as an opportunity to send out a clear message that Pakistan is safe despite many security challenges.

In recent years, international visitors have avoided traveling to Pakistan due to security fears.

Last month, a quadrilateral summit, which was to be attended by leaders from Russia, Pakistan, Afghanistan and Tajikistan, was postponed apparently due to security reasons.

“In this situation, the D-8 summit will help improve the country’s image,” added the official. He added that Pakistan had already sent formal invitations to the member states and all of them had confirmed their participation.

The presence of leaders from Iran and Egypt will most likely invite a lot of international attention.

Egyptian president to visit Pakistan

According to the Foreign Office, Egyptian President Dr Mohammad Morsi would also undertake a bilateral visit to Pakistan on November 23 and 24.

It will be Morsi’s first visit to Islamabad since he was elected Egypt’s president. Foreign Minister Hina Rabbani Khar, who recently visited Egypt, said Morsi’s maiden trip will help further strengthen ties between the two countries.

Published in The Express Tribune, November 2nd, 2012.

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Reader Comments (4)

  • Hasan
    Nov 2, 2012 - 6:47PM

    This D8 seems nothing but a islamic front.. never heard of this block, or its activities. No doubt Pakistan is part of such dubious and shady blocks which has practically no influence anywhere..

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  • It Is (still) Economy Stupid
    Nov 2, 2012 - 8:19PM

    If one is not part of G8 than lets be part of dream8. Dream on. Sorry for interruption.

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  • gp65
    Nov 2, 2012 - 8:31PM

    ““In this situation, the D-8 summit will help improve the country’s image,””

    You invite 7 fellow Islamic countries to discuss trade and development issue. The expected outcome shoud be some improved collaboration in economic issues. Why should such an event have any impact (plus or minus) on the country’s image? And who is the target audience for this improved image anyway? If you think West wll be favorably impressed because you invited Iran – well…

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  • Dec 10, 2012 - 9:44AM

    Society SMRecommend

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