ISLAMABAD: Developing countries (D-8) agreed on Wednesday to implement the much-anticipated Preferential Trade Agreement (ZEP) from 1 July 2016. The publication of the facts and figures d-8 states: “The objectives of D-8 are to improve the positions of developing countries in the global economy, to diversify and create new opportunities in trade relations, to increase participation in decision-making at the international level and to improve the standard of living.” The main areas of cooperation are finance, banking, rural development, science and technology, humanitarian development, agriculture, energy, environment and health.  The D-8 Preferential Tariff Agreement (TSP) aims to gradually reduce tariffs and other barriers to trade in certain products in order to promote intra-community trade between D-8 members. In response to a question, the Minister replied that the conclusion of a PEZ among the D-8 countries was a great success for Pakistan`s trade prospects, given that negotiations in multilateral trade agreements are progressing very slowly. Members are reviewing tariffs three years after the PtA D8 comes into force with the aim of expanding product coverage, deepening concessions and shortening the time frame. D-8, an example of cooperation between countries on the path of development within the framework of the South-South dialogue, is an organization that aims at economic and trade cooperation between Member States. The aim of the D-8 is to improve the position of developing countries in the global economy, diversify their trade relations and create new trade opportunities for Member States, improve participation in international decision-making mechanisms and ensure a better standard of living. The group of eight countries (D-8) includes eight Islamic countries: Bangladesh, Indonesia, Iran, Malaysia, Egypt, Nigeria, Pakistan and Turkey. The introduction of the D-8 PTA would allow Malaysian exporters to benefit from preferential tariff treatment for certain products in the participating members` market and would allow exporters to gain competitive advantages over similar products from non-participating countries. He said that D-8 countries will make concessions under the PTA on 8pc of customs lines, and Pakistan has already made its list of concessions available to the D-8 secretariat. The eight (8) Member States all signed the D-8 PTA at the fifth D8 Summit on 13 May 2006 in Bali, Indonesia. The idea of cooperation between the main Muslim developing countries was discussed by Professor Necmettin Erbakan, then Turkish Prime Minister, at a seminar on “Development Cooperation” in Istanbul in October 1996.