Trade between D-8 countries continues to grow: Minister

Turkish Minister of Science, Industry and Technology Minister Faruk Ozlu Thursday said trade among D-8 countries has reached about $100 billion and continues to improve.

"It is certainly possible for our trade volume to rise to $500 billion when our total economic size is estimated at $3.7 trillion and our members' total population is estimated at 1.1 billion," Ozlu said at the D-8 ministerial meeting in Abuja.

''Domestic trade volume among D-8 countries is about $100 billion.

"The average annual growth rate of the D-8 countries continues to be around 5 percent, which is an average for many western countries.

Pointing out that member countries have a wide economic potential in several fields, including industrialization, agriculture, tourism, transport and energy, Ozlu emphasized that this potential should be mobilized and turned into an advantage.

He added that the level of participation in D-8 countries meetings should increase and that private sector organizations should be included.

The D-8 was launched on June 15, 1997, after Turkey's then-prime minister, Necmettin Erbakan proposed the creation of an economic group consisting of eight emerging economies from the Muslim world, including Bangladesh, Egypt, Indonesia, Iran, Malaysia, Nigeria, Pakistan and Turkey.

At present, the organization has a combined GDP of $3.7 trillion and includes more than one billion people -- around 15 percent of the world's population.

Two of its members -- Turkey and Indonesia -- belong to the world's 20 biggest economies.

Source: Anadolu Agency