SENER: "TRADE VOLUME BETWEEN D-8 MEMBER COUNTRIES IS NOT ON DESIRED LEVEL"
TEHRAN - Meeting of Group of Eight Islamic Developing Countries (D-8) started in Tehran, Iran on Monday.
State Minister and Deputy Prime Minister Abdullatif Sener delivered a speech in the meeting.
Noting that the trade volume between D-8 member countries was not on desired level, Sener said, "we are expecting D-8 high-ranking expert group to make new arrangements to form preferential trade system among our countries or to further develop our trade by eliminating tariff and non-tariff barriers gradually."
Sener said that he believed that D-8 would be one of the active groups of integrated world economy. He added, "today, we are living in a world that is getting smaller. Globalization process which has gained speed in the past 20 years has become an indispensable fact. Under these conditions, we think it is necessary to benefit from all capabilities of D-8."
Noting that D-8 had an important potential with its 800 million population in a field of 7.5 square kilometers and had every type of facility to develop cooperation, Sener said, "it is a fact that we need an increase in trade volume among our countries. Private sector's active participation in activities of D-8 is vital for our efforts to reach success. We need the dynamism of private sector."
Sener said that Turkey attributed very much importance to D-8 projects developed on various fields such as trade, industry, telecommunication and information, agriculture, finance, banking and privatization, prevention of poverty and development of human sources, rural development, energy and environment. He added that the project of production of crop-dusters in Turkey, coordinator of activities on industrial field of D-8, had priority and first prototype of the plane was produced and flight tests were successfully completed, but mass production of the plane was postponed until necessary market potential would emerge and required financial sources would be found.
Sener told Turkish journalists that they aimed to increase the export volume of Turkey in 2004 by 30 percent when compared to last year, adding that "we've exceeded 48 billion dollars in 2003, and we want to increase that amount by at least 30 percent. We can have a trade volume of 65 billion dollars in 2004."
Sener stated that the foreign trade policy of Turkey was to enter the world trade in a stronger way, adding that Turkey's foreign trade reached 115 billion dollars in 2003.
"One country tries to enter the world trade starting from its neighbours first, and such organizations like D-8 are important in that regard. EU countries make half of their trade with neighbouring countries and open the world from there," Sener said.
D-8 countries are composed of Turkey, Iran, Egypt, Pakistan, Malaysia, Bangladesh, Indonesia and Nigeria.
D-8 which was founded at the summit of heads of states and governments held in Istanbul on July 15, 1997, aims at increasing the position of developing countries in world economy, creating new opportunities and diversification in their commercial relations, increasing their participation in decision taking mechanism at the international level and providing better standards of living.