07 June 2018, Ankara-Turkey
D-8 and TOBB agree to facilitate Trade and Investment among the D-8 countries
The President of the Union of Chambers and Commodity Exchanges of Turkey (TOBB), M. Rifat Hisarciklioglu hosted an Iftar Dinner that was attended by the Secretary-General of D-8, Ambassador Dato’ Ku Jaafar Ku Shaari; the Ambassadors of Developing Eight Countries (D-8) in Ankara; and the Chairman of Agean Regional Chamber of Industry (EBSO), Mr. Ender Yorgancılar; the Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Salihli Commodity Exchange, Mr. Yetiş Aksoy; the General Secretary of TOBB, Mr. Mustafa Saraçoz; and the Director of the Economic Policy Research Foundation of Turkey (TEPAV), Mr. Güven Sak. The dinner took place on 07 June, 2018 at TOBB’s Headquarters in Ankara. 

In his opening remarks, Mr. Hisarcıklıoğlu Congratulated the D-8 Secretary General for his appointment and expressed confidence that he will be very successful. He said that he believes Ambassador Ku Jaafar will carry the Organization to the next level.
Mr. Hisarcıklıoğlu also highlighted the current economic cooperation between D-8 countries and said that the D-8 countries are spread across three continents. They have rich natural resources and a young and dynamic population. Their annual average growth rate is six per cent. This is above the growth rate of many western countries. He added that 20 years ago, when the D-8 was established, the average per capita income was $1,820. But today it has reached $4,500. In total, D-8 countries have a population of 1.1 billion with a combined GDP of $3.7 trillion. However, in view of their glaring potentials, the figures are not satisfactory. Therefore, we need to enhance the existing cooperation in order to explore the immense opportunities and the potentials of the D-8.
Mr. Hisarcıklıoğlu revealed the draft roadmap and plan of execution for the future course of the D-8 Federation of Chamber of Commerce and Industry (D-8 FCCI). He pointed out that under his presidency of the D-8 FCCI, he wishes to play an important role in order to promote Business to Business and Public Private Partnerships in all Member States. He also expressed concern for the lack of coordination and active participation of the Member States in D-8FCCI events. Furthermore, he questioned the performance of D-8 FCCI and requested all Member States to make judicious use of this platform. Finally, he appealed to all Member States to work together more closely in order to achieve our targets. 

After the opening remarks of Mr. Hisarcıklıoğlu, he invited the D-8 Secretary-General to share his views and vision to the gathering. In his remarks, the Secretary-General expressed his gratitude and sincere appreciation to Mr. Hisarcıklıoğlu for hosting the iftar dinner and providing such excellent facilities as well as warm welcome and generous hospitality extended to the guests.

The Secretary-General congratulated Mr. Hisarcıklıoğlu on his reappointment as the President of TOBB and expressed confidence that his able and dynamic leadership will take TOBB to a new height of excellence in all fields of economic endevours. He also assured him unflinching support of the D-8 Organization in his efforts at advancing the common agenda of cooperative partnership. 

Furthermore, the Secretary-General brief the gathering about his new initiative of direct communication with the relevant agencies of the Member States in order to overcome the    bureaucracy and bottlenecks in communication. He also explained his efforts to make the D-8 private sector active and effective including participation in Expos, forming cooperation with agencies like Malaysian Industry-Government Group for High Technology (MIGHT) for transferring High-Tech between Member States, making efforts to form partnership with other international and reginal  Association of Chambers of Commerce like ASEAN Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ASEAN CCI) and working on airport facilitation mechanism with Istanbul Sabhia Gokcen International Airport (ISG) for D-8 Citizen to promote business to business and people to people contact. 
Moreover, the Secretary-General pointed out that Member States have established cooperation in a number of sectors. "However, we are yet to transform these into successful stories. We should trade more. We have to produce more. We should create job opportunities for our young population and ensure a brighter future for them.  It is very important that visa facilitation, customs and preferential trade agreements should be implemented in their true spirit. If the necessary steps are taken in these areas, the intra-D8 trade, which is currently around $ 100 billion, could increase by as much as five times in a short time. " 

Thereafter, the Ambassadors of D-8 and other participants were invited to make comments. All the D-8 Ambassadors praised the views and the vision of the president of TOBB and the Secretary-General of D-8 and assured of their countries commitment to the D-8 and specially with D-8 FCCI. They also agreed to contribute positively and participate actively in the activities of D-8 FCCI.
The Secretary-General appreciated TOBB and The Economic Policy Research Foundation of Turkey (TEPAV) for their efforts at presenting a comprehensive draft strategic roadmap for deepening economic co-operation between the D-8-member countries. He also emphasized the need to call a D-8 FCCI meeting for the finalization of the D-8 Federation of Chambers and Commerce Statute and adoption of the draft roadmap.

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