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Nigeria's Goodluck Jonathan kicks off D-8 summit

Heads of state and ministers from the eight developing Islamic economies, D8 pose for group photographs in Abuja
Heads of state and ministers from the eight developing Islamic economies, D8 pose for group photographs in Abuja Reuters

Nigeria’s President Goodluck Jonathan opened proceedings Thursday at a summit in Abuja of the organisation known as the D-8, or the Developing Eight nations. The aim of the meeting is to improve trade among members including Bangladesh, Egypt, Indonesia, Iran, Malaysia, Nigeria, Pakistan and Turkey.

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"Nigeria remained a preferred investment designation on account of its abundant human and natural resources available to investors in D8 member nations to exploit", said Jonathan.

He also called on the leaders to take practical steps to ensure better working relations between the Muslim majority countries, said RFI’s ben Shemang in Abuja.

The Egyptian Minister of Economic Affairs Muhammed Al-Durabi - speaking alongside the summit - praised the “practical approach to the benefits of the D-8 cooperation”.

However some leaders feel that not enough progress has been made especially in efforts to create a free-trade zone.

"The D-8 has not been able to fully attain its objectives," said Malaysia's deputy Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin.

She said that the preferential trade area had only been ratified by two member states – Malaysia and Iran.

The meeting has also courted controversy after the Iranian President Mahmoud
Ahmadinejad branded the United States a global dictator.

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