ISLAMABAD: Commerce Minister Khurram Dastgir Khan has said that the Islamic world should put forth new ideas and innovative research to break the economic inertia which is hindering economic development in Muslim countries.
He made these remarks while representing Pakistan at the 12th World Islamic Economic Forum [WIEF] being held in Jakarta, Indonesia from August 2 to 4, according to a press release issued on Tuesday.
Indonesia President Joko Widodo inaugurated the forum and Malaysia Prime Minister Mohd Najib Abdul Razak, who is also the patron of WIEF Foundation, made a special address.
Leaders and representatives of Kuwait, Qatar, Bangladesh, Nigeria, Algeria, Tajikistan, Jordan, Guinea, Sri Lanka, Vietnam, Thailand, South Africa and Islamic Development Bank also spoke at the inaugural session.
“We are suffering not only from pervasive poverty of our people but also from the poverty of ideas on how to bring about an economic revolution to improve lifestyles of our people,” Dastgir said in his speech.
“We suffer from the poverty of ideas to facilitate our private sector within the OIC [Organisation of Islamic Cooperation] behind our borders, at our borders and beyond our borders.”
Emphasising the pressing need for providing equal opportunities for the Muslims, the minister said the Muslim world would have to empower future businesses by decentralising growth so that bounties of economic progress may spread to the tail-end of the economic strand.
He stressed that Pakistan was committed to strengthening economic and trade cooperation between OIC member states to push the cause of economic integration of Muslim nations and the establishment of an Islamic common market.
He told the audience that Pakistan had signed and ratified the WTO Agreement on Trade Facilitation, which reflected its commitment to a transparent, simple, deregulated and private sector-driven business environment.
He called for more frequent interaction among policymakers and private sectors of the Muslim world. Pakistan offered its fullest support to the initiatives for liberalisation of trade, investment and services as well as travel facilitation between the Islamic states, he said.
Dastgir also urged the Muslim world to join hands for deeper trade liberalisation and for more extensive technical and knowledge collaboration in other fields of the economy.
Published in The Express Tribune, August 3rd, 2016.
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