PR No.27 Trade Ministers’ Council Meeting Islamabad

Pakistan will host the Trade Ministers’ Council Meeting of the D-8 in Islamabad on 17th February 2016. Pakistan will be the chair of this Trade Ministers’ Council for the first time. The meeting will deliberate upon the status of Preferential Trade Agreement among the contracting parties which is in advanced stage. The members would discuss the tariff reduction lists provided so far by the members states. As of now, Indonesia, Malaysia, Nigeria, Pakistan, and Turkey have submitted their lists.

The Developing 8 (D-8) is a group of Muslim countries comprising Bangladesh, Egypt, Indonesia, Iran, Malaysia, Nigeria, Turkey and Pakistan. The establishment of D-8 was announced officially by the Summit of Heads of State/Government in Istanbul, on June 15, 1997.

Federal Minister for Commerce, Engr. Khurram Dastgir Khan, who will chair the Trade Ministers’ Council Meeting, held a meeting with the Ambassadors of D-8 countries and apprised them of the preparations Pakistan has made for the Trade Ministers’ Council Meeting. Talking to the Ambassadors, the Minister said that Pakistan intends to hold meaningful negotiations on trade matters and conclude negotiations on fast-track basis to reap the maximum benefits out of the Agreement. He said that the economic cooperation and trade facilitation among the member countries will change the lives of the teeming millions which inhabit the member states and are poor.

The meeting will also discuss the dispute settlement mechanism and continue its discussion on consolidated draft Dispute Settlement document which set the rules to resolve the disagreements between the parties.

The Trade Ministers’ Council will discuss the provisions for Rules of Origin and the Bangladeshi proposal to have 30% Local Value Addition Criteria for LDCs as agreed in Trade Preferential System (TPS) amongst the OIC Member States.

Pakistan’s total exports to D-8 countries in 2014-15 were $1.602 billion while the imports were $3.67 billion. The exports to Iran stood at $30 million, Turkey 309.2 million, Bangladesh $697.6 million, Indonesia $143.2 million, Malaysia $ 205.1 million, Egypt $ 150.9 million and Nigeria $ 66.7 million.