Islamic world should put innovation-based research to break economic inertia: Khurram Dastagir

Islamabad, August 02, 2016 (PPI-OT):Minister for Commerce, Engr. Khurram Dastagir Khan has said that the Islamic world should put forth new ideas and innovation-based research to break the economic inertia which is hindering the economic development of poor masses in Muslim world. He made these remarks while representing Pakistan at the 12th World Islamic Economic Forum (WIEF) being held in Jakarta, Indonesia from 2nd till 4th August 2016. Prime Minister of Pakistan nominated Mr. Dastagir to represent Pakistan on his behalf at the Forum.

The Forum was inaugurated by Mr. Joko Widodo, President of the Republic of Indonesia and Mr. Dato’ Sri Mohd Najib Tun Abdul Razak, Prime Minister of Malaysia and Patron of the WIEF Foundation made a special address at the Forum. Leaders and representatives of Kuwait, Qatar, Bangladesh, Nigeria, Algeria, Tajikistan, Jordan, Guinea, Sri Lanka, Vietnam, Thailand, South Africa and Islamic Development bank also spoke at the inaugural session.

The Minister will also deliver letters of thanks from the Prime Minister of Pakistan for the President of Republic of Indonesia and the Prime Minister of Malaysia who had invited the Prime Minister of Pakistan for the Forum. Mr. Dastagir in his speech at the inaugural plenary said that “We are suffering not only from pervasive poverty of our people but also from a poverty of ideas on how to bring about an economic revolution to improve the lifestyles of our people.” He said that “We suffer from a poverty of ideas to facilitate our private sector within OIC behind our borders, at our borders, and beyond our borders.”

The Minister while emphasizing the pressing need for equal opportunities for the Muslims said that the Muslim world has to empower future businesses by de-centralizing growth so that the bounties of economic progression may stretch till the tail end of the economic strand. He said that Pakistan is committed to strengthening intra-OIC economic and trade cooperation to further the cause of economic integration of Muslim States leading to the establishment of an Islamic Common Market.

Mr. Dastagir detailed the efforts of Pakistan made to integrate itself with the Muslim world in trade, logistics and economic cooperation. Trade Preferential System among the Member States of the OIC (TPS-OIC) is one of the most important projects of the Organization to foster intra-OIC trade. This system is based on three agreements, namely the Framework Agreement, the Protocol on Preferential Tariff Scheme (PRETAS) and the Rules of Origin.

The Minister said that Pakistan has already signed and ratified the required three agreements pertaining to TPS-OIC and submitted the concession list to the OIC Secretariat. He said that Pakistan has also been pursuing trade partnerships with OIC member countries through Preferential Trade Agreements, Free Trade Agreements and various other bilateral arrangements.

He informed the audience that Pakistan has signed and ratified the WTO Agreement on Trade Facilitation, which reflects our commitment to a transparent, simple, de-regulated and private sector driven business environment. The Minister emphasized the need for more frequent interaction among policy makers and private sector of the Muslim world.

He said that Pakistan offers its fullest support to initiatives for liberalization of trade, investment and services as well as travel facilitation between Islamic countries. Mr. Dastagir urged the Muslim World to join hands for deeper trade liberalization among ourselves, and for more extensive technical and knowledge collaboration in other fields of economy.

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