Developing Islamic nations seek closer trade ties

ABUJA Thu Jul 8, 2010 5:39pm IST

Related Topics

ABUJA (Reuters) - Eight developing Islamic economies including Nigeria, Iran and Pakistan aim to reach a preferential trade agreement by next year to try to double trade and deepen economic cooperation, government officials said on Thursday.

Heads of state and ministers from the Developing Eight Countries (D8) -- Iran, Nigeria, Bangladesh, Egypt, Indonesia, Malaysia, Pakistan and Turkey -- are meeting in Nigeria to discuss developing business ties and reducing trade barriers.

"While the role of government as a catalyst and enabler of economic growth remains pivotal, the primary driver of this process must be the private sector," Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan told the summit in the capital Abuja.

Trade between the member nations of the D8, which was created in 1997 to try to foster economic cooperation between developing Islamic nations, is estimated at around $68 billiona year, or about 3 percent of global trade.

Delegates said the grouping had failed to meet its potential because only Iran and Malaysia had ratified a trade agreement, the outlines of which were agreed several years ago. Other nations disagreed on which goods would be subject to reduced tariffs.

"The trade statistics among D8 countries may appear positive but this success may be mainly due to existing bilateral trade initiatives rather than ... the cooperation of the D8 as an organisation," Malaysian Deputy Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin said.

The main traded goods within the bloc include petroleum products from Nigeria, petrochemicals and edible oils from Malaysia, consumer goods, cars and basic raw materials such as rubber.

"The aim is to double trade in the next five years," Abdul Qadir Memon, Pakistan's deputy secretary at the commerce ministry, said on the sidelines of the meeting, attended by Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and Turkish President Abdullah Gul.

"The most important step is the preferential trade agreement which we are aiming to operationalise by Jan 1, 2011, that is the target date ... We thought that by 2006 we would have been able to implement the agreement but unfortunately there have been delays," he said.

(For more news on Reuters India, click in.reuters.com)

FILED UNDER:
Comments (0)
This discussion is now closed. We welcome comments on our articles for a limited period after their publication.

  • Most Popular
  • Most Shared

Iron Lady of Manipur

Reuters Showcase

Infra Needs

Infra Needs

IFC launches $2.5 billion rupee-denominated bonds for infra projects in India.  Full Article 

Beheading Video

Beheading Video

Islamic State opens new anti-U.S. front with beheading video.  Full Article 

Metro Project

Metro Project

Cabinet approves $1.4 bln new metro rail project.  Full Article 

Tackling Food Waste

Tackling Food Waste

Govt begins revamp of Food Corporation of India to cut waste, tame prices.  Full Article 

Dhoni's Future

Dhoni's Future

Lack of options leave India struggling with Dhoni dilemma .  Full Article 

Web Equality

Web Equality

Online video stars mobilize for U.S. net neutrality.  Full Article 

Silicon Valley Women

Silicon Valley Women

Despite lip service, Silicon Valley venture capital still a man’s world   Full Article 

Reuters India Mobile

Reuters India Mobile

Get the latest news on the go. Visit Reuters India on your mobile device.  Full Coverage