The foreign ministers of the eight developing Islamic countries (D8) have approved a 10-year roadmap for economic cooperation among the member countries.
Malaysian Foreign Minister Dr Rais Yatim said the two-phased roadmap envisaged increased intra-trade from the current 5 per cent to between 15 and 20 per cent by 2018.
"Currently, intra-trade between member states is only five per cent of the total D8 global trade. By the end of 2018, we want intra-trade to grow to $571.5 billion or 15 to 20 per cent of the total D8 trade,” he said.
"The roadmap will also provide the framework for enhancing cooperation, the guide and for mula to implement D8 programmes and projects, assist in mobilising resources from governmental and non-governmental sectors,” the Malaysian FM told reporters on the sidelines of the 11th session of the Council of Ministers' meeting
He further said the roadmap will also broaden support for the D8 community, the private sector and the grouping's economic cooperation initiatives.
The roadmap from 2008-2013, the main thrust, will focus on D8 Preferential Trade Agreement (PTA) and Rules of Origin, customs and visa, industrial and business cooperation.
The second phase, 2013-2018, is to achieve intra-trade target of $517.5 billion or between 15 and 20 per cent of D8 global trade.
Among other objectives, the roadmap also spelt out trade facilitations, customs cooperation, capacity building, migrant workers, small-and medium-scale enterprises and information and communications technology.
The foreign ministers endorsed a permanent secretariat for the D8 following a consensus among the member states for an annual contribution.