ISLAMABAD: Addressing a news conference here on Monday, Foreign Minister Hina Rabbani Khar said the presidents of Egypt, Indonesia, Iran, Nigeria, the prime minister of Turkey, the deputy prime minister of Malaysia and the adviser to the prime minister of Bangladesh will attend the Development-8 (D8) Summit starting in Islamabad on Thursday. She expressed hopes that a preferential trade agreement between D8 member states will be operationalised soon. She said that six of the eight countries have already ratified the agreement, and that there is an issue pertaining to tariff lines with Bangladesh, which she hoped will be sorted out during the summit. Likewise, she said there is a minor issue with Egypt which will also be resolved. She said the primary agenda of the summit is to focus on economic matters and trade. She said central bank chiefs of member states are also meeting to explore opportunities in opening bank branches in each others’ countries.
Published in The Express Tribune, November 20th, 2012.