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Sunday, 25 February, 2001, 18:55 GMT
Muslim eight cry foul on globalisation
D8 Council of Ministers
D8 foreign ministers met prior to the summit
Leaders and representatives of eight developing Muslim countries have agreed to boost economic co-operation.


The global trade regime benefits mainly the rich countries

General Musharraf of Pakistan
At the D8 meeting in Cairo, they agreed on a series of steps to help increase the volume of trade between their countries and boost their collective clout in the global economy.

Delegates called for a fairer global economic system and expressed concern over the negative impact of globalisation on developing countries.

Under the plans agreed at the summit, visa restrictions for businessmen will be eased and a special company will be set up to help member states market their goods.

The aim is to double the amount of trade between D8 states - Egypt, Nigeria, Iran, Turkey, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Indonesia and Malaysia - over the next five years.

General Pervez Musharraf
Musharraf: Debt is stifling economic growth
The eight countries are home to about 13% of the world's population, but account for only 4% of world trade.

General Pervez Musharraf of Pakistan summed up the concerns of the summit participants.

"The global trade regime benefits mainly the rich and technologically advanced countries," he said.

"Besides, external debt burden is stifling economic growth in most developing countries, including Pakistan."

General Musharraf said the debt problem had reached alarming proportions.

The Nigerian President, Olusegun Obasanjo, described the debt burden as strangulating and called on developed countries to show the political courage and will to tackle it.

Poverty, he said, was a man-made, not a God given, condition.

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See also:

20 Jul 00 | Asia-Pacific
Debt pressure on richest countries
20 Jul 00 | debt
Q & A: Dropping the debt
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