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PM urges roadmap for closer economic integration among D8

21 November, 2012

ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Raja Pervez Ashraf on Tuesday called for a roadmap towards closer economic integration amongst the Developing-8 member states and stressed the need for creating an enabling environment that focuses on strong public-private partnership.

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ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Raja Pervez Ashraf on Tuesday called for a roadmap towards closer economic integration amongst the Developing-8 member states and stressed the need for creating an enabling environment that focuses on strong public-private partnership.

Addressing the inaugural session of the seventh D8 Business Forum, the prime minister said a roadmap was a critical step forward to achieve the collective goal of economic development. He said the current dynamism and diversity in economic relationship amongst the member states reflects a firm commitment to build a broad spectrum of trade and investment activities. The forum, organised jointly by the Board of Investment (BOI) and Federation of Pakistan Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FPCCI), was attended by entrepreneurs, businessmen and industrialists from the participating member states.

While assuring Pakistan's support to strengthening economic relations, Prime Minister Raja said the D8 grouping was one of the most diversified clusters of developing countries and a unique platform to identify new opportunities for mutually beneficial cooperation. He said the strategic positioning of the member states, their diversity and unique institutional framework provide the capacity to develop vast human and natural resources.

The expanding network of relationships between the countries of the D8 has created tremendous opportunities for business to flourish and gain a sure foothold. The prime minister said the D8 was a reflection of the solemn pledge made to the people 15 years ago to make their lives better – a life free from the shackles of poverty. “Your presence here is a testimony that we stand by our word. The same resolve will one day lead us to our goal,” the prime minister said.

He said the D8 Business Forum has the potential to create entrepreneurial synergies leading to increased wealth and prosperity of our people. Prime Minister Raja said since its inception, trade volume of the D8 member countries has increased from $433 billion in 1997 to $1.725 trillion in 2011. This reflects more than 20 percent annual growth confirming trade potential of the states. He said the intra-D8 trade was $130 billion in 2011, which was 7.5 percent of the total trade of D8 trade bloc, however the bilateral trade and investment among D8 member countries is yet to reach its full potential.

The prime minister expressed satisfaction that the Preferential Trade Agreement (PTA) has entered into force and termed it “a significant milestone” towards economic integration among the D8. He said expeditious implementation would help intra-D8 trade target of $500 billion by 2018. Prime Minister Raja said since the inception of D8 bloc, member countries have been working together without any adverse impact on bilateral and multilateral commitments of its members.

All member countries have undertaken reforms, liberalised markets and integrated better in the world economy, he said and pointed that the GDP growth rate of the D8 countries averages around 6 percent with one member state (Turkey) registering 9 percent growth rate. Stressing the crucial role of the private sector in achieving the objectives of D8 cooperation, he said sages of all hues have concluded that government was the enabler but the doer was the private entrepreneur.

Prime Minister Raja Pervez Ashraf expressed the hope that the forum would help conclude concrete proposals to augment economic ties amongst the member states. “It will also enable us to finalise a workable action plan for future cooperation in the trade and investment.” He said Pakistan's strategic and geographic location served as an international corridor providing huge opportunities for investment and trade in profitable sectors. He said the government attaches high priority to private sector investment, especially foreign private investment, and said it was an integral component for restructuring and revitalisation of national economy.

End.


 
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