Addressing the 33rd Session of the Commissioners of Developing-8 Organization, Adviser to the Prime Minister on National Security and Foreign Affairs Sartaj Aziz also said that Pakistan would be organizing the first meeting of the D-8 energy forum in Islamabad.

Aziz also told the inaugural session of the two-day meet that the member countries -- Bangladesh, Egypt, Indonesia, Iran, Malaysia, Nigeria, Pakistan and Turkey -- could take initiatives in cooperation in capacity building, transfer of technology, transfer of capital and labour, energy and food security, Islamic banking and halal sector development.

Pakistan assumed the D-8 Chair at the last summit in Islamabad in November 2012. Later, during a meeting with D-8 Secretary-General Seyed Ali Mohammad Mousavi, Aziz proposed ways to fast track the implementation of trade and visa agreements.

He expressed hope that the D-8 Preferential Trade Agreement will be implemented soon. Mousavi assured support of his organization in expediting implementation of D-8 agreements that envisage current intra-D-8 trade of USD 150 billion to increase to USD 500 billion by 2018, the statement said.

Aziz urged the organization to initiate substantive cooperation by operationalising the agreements related to removing barriers in trade and business, particularly the Preferential Trade Agreement. D-8 was established in 1997 and the inaugural summit in Istanbul was attended by Nawaz Sharif, then Prime Minister. The organization reflects the interests of a combined population of one billion and a market of about USD 1 trillion.

(Agencies)

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