Olawale Ajimotokan, Abuja.
Vice President Yemi Osinbajo has called on the D-8 nations to stand for positive global trade relations and always remain as a veritable force for peace, justice and observance of fundamental freedom.
He made the appeal yesterday at the official opening session of the sixth D-8 Ministerial Meeting on Industrial Cooperation at Transcorp Hilton Hotel, Abuja.
Trade ministers from Bangladesh, Egypt, Indonesia, Iran, Malaysia, Nigeria, Pakistan and Turkey are holding a three-day high-level meeting to promote trade in the Nigerian capital.
The D-8 or the Development 8 nations are mutually cooperating on key areas, including technology, humanitarian development, agriculture, rural development, science, finance, banking, energy, environment and health.
The group was established in 1997 primarily to catalyse industrial and other economic activities in the context of the global economy.
Osinbajo noted that peace and justice in the D-8 countries were necessary given the atmosphere of social tensions, upheavals and conflicts looming all over the world.
He told the ministers that though it was a time of great challenges, they should see the bigger window that offers enormous opportunities.
Osinbajo said it was time to leverage on the vision and philosophy of the founders of the organisation for economic cooperation, by advancing the positions of developing countries in the world economy.
“Most of our nations are achieving great milestones in the use of renewable energy, while our young people, despite difficulties are competing with their peers in the commercial use of innovation and technology. The fall in commodity prices has led us to deepen diversification of our economies and challenge industries to greater productivity and cost effectiveness, Osinbajo said.
He said diversification will create new opportunities in trade relations, bring about better standards of living for the peoples, adding that D-8 allies must make concrete plans for collaboration and partnerships by using their strengths and comparative advantages to advance the good of one and all of its nations.
The Secretary-General of the organisation, Dr Seyed Mousavi said trade should be improved as the backbone of the D-8 member statesâ€™ cooperation.
According to the Iranian, the value of inter-trade among the D-8 nations increased from $50 billion in 1997 to $100 billion in 2015.Mousavi said the revenue target of $500billion could still be achieved.