The Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Industry, Trade and Investment, Mr. Dauda Kigbu, has said Nigeria would give support to D-8 organisation to help actualise her roadmap 2008-2018 in priority areas.
The priority areas, according to Kigbu, while speaking on the first 8 Developing Countries (D-8) in Abuja, are trade, industry, agriculture, transportation and energy. The Permanent Secretary informed the delegates that the trade minister council meeting is expected to launch the implementation of the D-8 on the Preferential Trade Agreement (PTA).
The D-8 PTA is an arrangement designed to boost trade and investment among member states namely; Bangladesh, Egypt, Indonesia, Iran, Malaysia, Nigeria, Pakistan and Turkey.
He said PTA had capacity to boost trade and investment among member countries, thereby reducing poverty and enriching the people. PTA, he said, "will enable the member countries to look at some of our list and see where tariff and non-tariff barriers exist and we can remove such to facilitate trade between members countries that may not ordinarily happened outside membership state."
He said Nigeria is aware that the PTA was a milestone achievement in the 16 years history of the Eight Developing (D-8) countries for economic cooperation. He noted that the Agreement was so dear to Nigeria because it was in consonance with the Transformation Agenda of the President, aimed at economic growth in non-oil exports particularly.
The Permanent Secretary therefore enjoined member countries at the meeting to work assiduously and deliberate on the listed issues to realise the set goals of the 1st D-8 Trade Ministers Council meeting
In his remarks, the D-8 Secretary General Dr. Seyed Mousavi, said the meeting had fixed cut-off date of the implementation of PTA, to November 1 “to facilitate trade among the members countries as you know that trade is the backbone of our cooperation.”
He commended the Government of Nigeria especially the Federal Ministry of Industry, Trade and Investment for the warm reception accorded delegates to the meeting and the wonderful venue in the capital city of Abuja.
Mousavi said top on the agenda of the meeting were; consideration and adoption of the draft agenda, presentation of the current state of cut-off date implementation for the first installment of tariff reduction.
The main objective of the Trade Ministers Council meeting is to deliberate and agree on the commencement date for the D-8 Preferential Trade Agreement implementation, which was signed in Bali, Indonesia in 2006.