Thursday, 8 July 2010

D-8 Summit Nigeria 2010

D-8 Secretary General, Dipo Alam, was on a official visit to Abuja, Nigeria, on 25-26 January 2010 as a part of series of his working visit to relevant D-8 Member countries to coordinate the preparation for the Abuja Head of States meeting 2010 as well as the farewell to the post which he will soon be entrusted to another diplomat as his successor. Dipo Alam has been recently appointed by the President of Indonesia as Cabinet Secretary Minister of the Republic of Indonesia, and shall return to Indonesia to embark on his new post and serve the country.
Members of D-8, an organisation for cooperation among eight developing countries of the world, will establish a joint investment fund that will boost trade and commerce among member countries, Dipo Alam, said.

Alam, who met Monday in Abuja with several minister of the Nigerian cabinet, such as the minister of Science and Technology, Alhassan Bako Zaku, Minister of State for Foreign Affairs, Jibril Maigari, and Minister of State for Commerce and Industry, Humphrey Aba, said the group is working on visa simplification agreement which will allow free access to member states which include Bangladesh, Egypt, Indonesia, Iran, Nigeria, Pakistan and Turkey. “One of the things we want to establish soon is the joint fund. The grant is meant for private sector to prepare feasibility study,” he said.

“Iran has pledged its readiness to contribute 15 million euros to the fund, and we hope that other member countries would follow that initiative,” said Alam. He said that the grant would further be made available to investors, who are expected to return the grant after executing the project. The focus of the group is on development of small and medium scale enterprises.

The D-8 chief stated that four countries, Pakistan, Malaysia, Turkey and Iran have ratified the visa simplification agreement and there are hopes that before the end of July, Nigeria would have signed on to the agreement so that Nigerians can travel with ease to these countries to transact business. This list would soon be including Indonesia, he said.

Alam commended the robust economic activities going on Nigeria, saying that Nigeria is the leading economy among the D-8, having overtaken Malaysia.

“According to World Bank report of 2009 for D-8, Nigeria is number 1 followed by Malaysia. Nigeria is a promising destination for investment and we expect there is benefit for D-8 and also for Nigeria when Nigeria chairs the group for next two years,” he said.

Boosting intra-trade volume through Economic cooperation measures

He revealed that the D-8 countries now have three per cent of the total world trade and their target is to increase it from three to 15 per cent in the next 10 years.

The organisation was established with the objective of enhancing cooperation in the economic sector through sharing of expertise in order to improve the position of member countries in the global economy. The D-8 member states have a population of 930 million people, who are predominantly Muslims.

Zaku said no nation can survive economically without cooperation. “Some of the countries have what others do not have. When we come together, we move forward,” he affirmed.

Alam also met with the Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, Sanusi Lamido Sanusi, in which discussion transpired in the plan to hold D-8 Central Bank Governors Meeting which shall elaborate how to improve good governance in banking sector, optimum fiscal stimulus in financial turmoil phase, joint investment fund and Islamic Finance.

Ready to Host D-8 Summit and Committed to be D-8 Chairman 2010-2012

Meanwhile, the Nigerian Federal Government has also pledged its commitment towards the successful hosting of the Developing Eight Nations (D-8) Summit in Abuja in July 2010. Nigerian Vice-President Goodluck Jonathan gave the assurance on Monday to Alam, who paid him a courtesy call at the State House, Presidential Villa, Abuja.

Jonathan, who expressed satisfaction at the line-up of programmes and activities for the Summit as disclosed by Alam, however assured that the nation’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs will work out the details for the successful hosting of the Summit. The Vice-President particularly expressed delight in the involvement of the private sector in the programme, noting that the sector is key to driving the economy.

Earlier, Alam said that he was in Nigeria to explain the progress made so far by the D-8 and to discuss the Summit to be hosted in Abuja in July and as well as inform Jonathan about his recent appointment as Cabinet Secretary in his country, Indonesia. In the occassion, Alam listed some of the expectations of the D-8 Summit to include Investment Cooperation Declarations, Joint Investment Projects among member nations, signing of a memorandum of understanding and signing of projects, among member nations.

On Sunday evening, the Indonesian Embassy in Nigeria also held a dinner reception which was attended by high commissioner of D-8 countries, such of Nik Mustafa Kamal bin Nik Ahmad (Malaysia), Khosrow Rezazadeh (Iran), Major-Gen. (rtd.) Asif Duraiz Akhtar (Pakistan), Mustafa Aykut Sezgin (Turkey), as well as CEOs of various Indonesian companies that invested in Nigerian market such as Indofood (represented by Adhi Sunarto) and Indorama (represented by General Manager, Veeramani).

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