'Wise Men' of D8 to convene in Istanbul

The 'Wise Men' group of senior advisors from the eight countries belonging to the D8 convened in Istanbul to discuss about prospects, challenges and opportunities to enhance cooperation among member states and strengthen the D-8 Secretariat

The 'Wise Men' group of senior advisors from the eight countries belonging to the D8 convened in Istanbul to discuss about prospects, challenges and opportunities to enhance cooperation among member states and strengthen the D-8 Secretariat

ISTANBUL - The 'Wise Men' group of senior advisors from the eight countries belonging to the D8 convened in Istanbul to discuss about prospects, challenges, opportunities to enhance cooperation among member states of the D-8 Organization for Economic Cooperation and ways to strengthen the D8 Secretariat.

The Developing Eight, better known as D8, was founded by the then Turkish Prime Minister Necmettin Erbakan in 1997. Formed as an economic alliance, the body consists of Bangladesh, Egypt, Indonesia, Iran, Malaysia, Nigeria, Pakistan and Turkey, aiming to improve member states within the global economy, diversify industrial development and create new opportunities for trade relations and improved standards of living.

Deputy Chairman of AK Party Numan Kurtulmus, Turkey's representative to the 'Wise Men' group, gave the opening speech, saying they will discuss two main issues in the two-day meeting, "Why did the D8 fail?" and "What needs to be done to be successful?" 

Kurtulmus also said they will work on projects for D8 countries so they can integrate into the international economy and be as successful as their long aspirations. 

Bangladesh Former Ambassador M. Afsarul Qader, former Foreign minister of Egypt Mohamed el-Orabi, former Ambassasor of Indonesia Adiyatwidi Asmady, former Ambassador  of Iran Morteza Damanpak Jami, former High Commissioner to the Great Britain from Malaysia Zakaria Sulong, former Ambassador of Nigeria Sulaiman Dahiru, former Foreign Secretary of Pakistan Ahmad Shamshad and Deputy Chairman of AK Party Numan Kurtulmus participated. 

D8 Secretary General Ali Mohammad Moussavi said they will focus on the implementation of projects, adding each country has different expectations and they hope to have their own factories for satellites, automobiles and airplanes.

The population of the D8 countries comprises about one billion people, or around 17 percent of the world’s population. The D8 countries are collectively rich with mineral and natural resources, reliable energy and agricultural sectors, as well as dynamic and competitive labour force, promising tourism prospects, and with lower operational costs. Some member states are cited amongst the top 25 exporters in the world. All the D-8 countries are important players in their respective regions. 

The report and recommendations produced in the session will be presented to the D8 Council of Ministers of Foreign Affairs meeting in September 2014, as well as to the D8 Summit scheduled for December 2014 in Turkey. 

Turkey will assume two-year presidency of the D8 Secretariat from Pakistan in September.

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