ISLAMABAD - The 33rd Session of the Commission of Developing-8 Organization for Economic Development (D-8) will begin here from Monday in a bid to boost foreign trade among members of the organization to $500 billion by 2018.

Pakistan is hosting the two-day event as the Chair of D-8 that comes at a time when the government is attaching importance to economic diplomacy. Adviser to Prime Minister on National Security and Foreign Affairs Sartaj Aziz will inaugurate.

The D-8 Commissioners from member countries including (Bangladesh, Egypt, Indonesia, Iran, Malaysia, Nigeria, Pakistan and Turkey) and D-8 Secretary General Dr. Seyed Ali Mohammad Mousavi will attend the meeting.

The meeting will review progress in intra-D-8 cooperation in several areas in the context of roadmap of cooperation from 2008 to 2018.

During the D-8 Summit held in Islamabad on November 22, 2012, Pakistan assumed the chairmanship of the D-8 until 2014.

The Commissioner’s meeting is the first in a series of meetings, which Pakistan will host as follow-up of the Islamabad Summit.

The leaders of member countries had adopted in Islamabad for the first time in the D-8 history, key documents including the organization’s Charter and its Global Vision for next two decades, apart from adopting the Islamabad Declaration 2012.

Particular importance on the agenda of the meeting is the review of D-8 Agreements relating to facilitation of trade and business among member countries.

Pakistan has ratified all the agreements including the  Preferential Trade Agreement (PTA) which is likely to be operationalised during the chairmanship of Pakistan.

On the sidelines, Dr. Mousavi will hold meetings with Sartaj Aziz, Adviser to the Prime Minister and Syed Tariq Fatemi, Special Assistant to the Prime Minister, in addition to calling on Ministers and senior officials of other Ministries and Departments. Syed Fatemi will also host lunch for the D-8 Secretary-General and the Commissioners.

The D-8 is a multilateral grouping of eight emerging economies of the Muslim world that represent different regions.

The organization was established in 1997 and Prime Minister Muhammad Nawaz Sharif, as one of the founding leaders, had attended the inaugural summit in Istanbul.

The organization reflects combined population of one billion and a market of about one trillion dollars. The member countries envisage increasing intra D-8 trade to over $500 billion by 2018.