The Developing Eight's (D-8) preferential trade agreement came into force for Iran, Pakistan, Malaysia, Indonesia, Nigeria and Turkey yesterday.
According to the Economic Ministry, according to the agreement, tariff rates will gradually be reduced from over 10 percent to 8 percent, from over 25 percent to 25 percent, from 15-25 percent to 15 percent and from 10-15 percent to 10 percent for various products.
The Economic Ministry's statement said the agreement is "assertive" despite its limited scope, stressing that relations among D-8 countries will gain momentum with enforcement of the agreement. The volume of trade among D-8 countries reached nearly $122 billion in 2014 from $15 billion when the organization was founded in 1997, increasing by 8 percent since its inception. The D-8 countries' export volume with the whole world increased by nearly 3 percent and reached $1.7 trillion in the same period. The statement stressed that D-8 countries have the capacity to make further trade cooperation agreements.
According to the statement, as part of the "regionalization" that has been continuously growing since the early 2000s, cooperation to create market opportunities is rapidly increasing. As an important platform of developing Muslim countries, it is therefore important for the D-8 to expand and intensify cooperation in accordance with the requirements of the day.
Soon after the agreement takes effect, it will be possible to launch initiatives to expand concession lists and cooperation in new areas. It is thought that there might be new issues on which investments, public procurements and services might focus in parallel with global developments and offer new market opportunities for D-8 countries. It is therefore considered a critical turning point for D-8 countries to find common ground to further develop trade relations. Turkey will make the necessary effort for the success of such initiatives and further the development of trade relations. In 1997, eight leading Islamic countries with similar development levels, including Turkey, founded the Developing Eight Organization (D-8) to improve their respective positions in the world economy, create new opportunities in trade relations, become more influential in international decision-making mechanisms and raise life standards. The structure stipulates cooperation in many areas, with the preferential trade agreement among member countries becoming the most concrete project that the organization has implemented so far.