Summit of the Group of Eight Islamic Developing Countries (D-8) provides opportunity for Islamic countries to focus on trade and economic issues.
According to Malaysian Deputy Foreign Minister, Abdul Rahim Bakri, this year's summit is meaningful especially for the Organization of Islamic Conference (OIC), as trade and economic issues would take center stage.
The theme of the summit, "Facing Global Challenges through Innovative Cooperation", aims at fostering economic cooperation among member countries to facilitate trade.
Another issue given attention in the discussions was the energy crisis and the rising food costs, with D-8 members Indonesia, Iran, and Nigeria among the world's top oil producing countries.
"The development of the halal industry which has the potential to become a trillion dollar industry will be given priority, especially in Islamic finance and takaful development," The Malaysian official said.
The global market for halal products and services is estimated to be worth USD 42.3 trillion (USD 1.00=RM3.26).
Besides Indonesia, Iran, and Nigeria, the D-8 comprises Bangladesh, Egypt, Malaysia, Pakistan, and Turkey.
The D-8 was set up as a forum in 1997 to increase cooperation in various fields towards improving the economic status of memberstates.