Deputy foreign ministers for economic affairs from Iran, Turkey, Pakistan, Egypt, Indonesia, Malaysia, Nigeria and Senegal discussed ways of accelerating trade among the member states and offered practical proposals to remove existing barriers to expansion of commercial and industrial cooperation among member states.
The Islamic Republic of Iran has assumed rotating chairmanship of the group of eight developing nations for two years.
At the end of the joint meeting, the participants prepared a draft resolution to be signed by the foreign ministers of the member states to finalize legal procedures.
Iranian Deputy Foreign Minister for economic affairs Mohammad Hossein Adeli chaired the two-day conference in Tehran.
Head of Iran's Chamber of Commerce, Mines and Metals Ali-Naqi Khamoushi briefed the audience on the measures taken by D-8 member countries for expansion of trade exchanges among the member states.
The leaders of the D-8 member states participating in the Tehran summit had assigned the deputy foreign ministers of D-8 members to hold meetings twice a year in order to follow up the decisions they made on trade cooperation ranging from customs facilities to establishment of free trade zones.
Khamoushi who is the rotating chairman of D-8 group for two consecutive years, in his report referred to a number of obstacles on way of expansion of economic cooperation among the member states and called for removal of red tapes, cuts in taxes as well as customs tariffs.
He expressed pleasure he had represented the private sector in the meeting and welcomed any joint meetings between governments and private sectors.
Highlighting the efforts made to establish more contacts among embassies of the member states to broaden commercial cooperation, he said "much to our regret none of those countries have replied to the letters addressed to them."
"Unfortunately, most of the member states are deprived of direct economic contacts," he said.
Lack of facilities such as suitable banking system, air and sea link as well as long procedures for issuance of visa are among main obstacles to promotion of economic cooperation among D-8 countries, he said.
He called on the D-8 member states to provide facilities for setting up of joint trade fairs to enable member states to demonstrate their products and services.
Representatives from Turkey, Malaysia, Indonesia and Egypt delivered speeches in the conference.
The Indonesian representative proposed that a special ID card be issued for businessmen of the D-8 member countries to facilitate their visits and provide them with some economic privileges.
Adeli, for his part, welcomed participation of the private sector in the economic meetings and said the representatives of the private sector should offer their proposals to be handed over to top officials prior taking any actions.
Some of D-8 countries are members of the World Trade Organization (WTO) and some like the Islamic Republic of Iran has not joined the WTO yet and this has created problems in adopting an identical customs tariffs among D-8 members, Adeli said.
The first measure to help increase level of trade exchanges among D-8 countries is to decrease taxes, he said and called for issuance of a special ID card for businessmen of the D-8 countries to provide them with more economic privileges.
... Payvand News - 7/11/04 ... --