Vice President Yemi Osinbajo has said that the D-8 countries must remain a potent force for peace and justice at all times to be able to enhance and promote good trade relationship.
He said they must also be observance of fundamental freedom at all times to achieve the feat.Osinbajo spoke while declaring open the sixth D-8 (also known as Developing-8 consisting of Bangladesh, Egypt, Indonesia, Iran, Malaysia, Nigeria, Pakistan and Turkey) ministerial meeting on industrial co-operation yesterday in Abuja.
According to him, maintenance of peace and justice in the D-8 countries was necessary, especially with the social upheavals, conflicts and tensions flaring up everywhere. He told the ministers that though it was a time of great challenges, it was also a time of enormous opportunities.
The Vice President, who noted that it was time to leverage on the clear vision of the founders of the organisation for economic co-operation by advancing the positions of developing countries in the world economy, said the organisation must begin to make concrete plans for collaboration and partnerships for areas it had marked for co-operation by using its strengths and comparative advantages to advance the good of one and all of its nations.
In his address, the D-8 Secretary-General, Dr. Seyed Mousavi, said that trade was the backbone of the D-8 member-states co-operation and it needs to be improved substantially.
He stated that though the value of the D-8 inter-trade increased from $50 billion in 1997 to around $100 billion in 2015, the revenue was still below the target set at $500 billion.
Mousavi said there was room for improvement and to achieve the targets set by the founding leaders, participation of member-countries was very important.
He said networking among small and medium enterprises (SMEs) in the D-8 organisation was also very vital, adding that all firms must have access to knowledge and expertise.The three-day meeting is scheduled to end tomorrow.