By Fatih Hafiz Mehmet
Members of the Developing-8 Organization for Economic Cooperation (D-8) have decided to establish a project support fund, according to a plan of action released at Istanbul summit on Friday.
Istanbul was hosting the ninth summit of the D-8, of which the theme was "Expanding Opportunities through Cooperation".
The D-8 Project Support Fund aims to facilitate the implementation of various projects among the D-8 Member States, mainly through the use of feasibility studies.
The action plan also mentions the foundation of an intra-D-8 payment mechanism. Moreover, it added that the D-8 finance/economy/customs will initiate a discussion to seek points of convergence in the Customs Act.
"They may form appropriate inter-governmental bodies to work on convergence of customs acts and procedures in Member States. They will consider the establishment of a Customs Data Bank as per the D-8 Customs Agreement. The works on Customs Agreement should be accomplished as soon as possible," the plan said.
The action plan stipulates that the D-8 working group on energy is to be made more functional; the working group is to explore the potential of sharing energy-efficient technology.
"The working group may establish a D-8 Energy database to serve as a platform for exchange of experiences on efficient use of energy and its new types," it added.
While the action plan includes greater cooperation in the sectors of tourism, agriculture, industry and transportation, it also mentions the establishment of a research and development center.
"The establishment of the D-8 Research and Development Center will assist to conduct research on D-8 priority areas and other issues as determined by the Member States," it says.
Furthermore, the action plan says the D-8 Visa Agreement should be implemented as soon as possible.
"The operationalization of the D-8 Visa Agreement will facilitate trade by increasing the mobility of the businessmen. The Visa Agreement will be implemented as soon as possible," the plan said.
On June 15, 1997, the D-8 was launched after Turkish Prime Minister Necmettin Erbakan proposed the creation of an economic group consisting of eight emerging economies from the Muslim world.
Alongside Turkey, Indonesia, Bangladesh, Egypt, Iran, Malaysia, Nigeria and Pakistan created an organization based in Istanbul.
Today, 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 -- are among the group of the world’s 20 biggest economies.