D-8 Summit on April 8; focus on trade, investment, Rohingya crisis

Dhaka, Mar 31:  Bangladesh will host the 10th D-8 (Developing-8) Summit on April 8 virtually in the context of Covid-19 new normal scenario that will focus on trade, investment, mineral resources, tourism, ICT, climate and Rohingya issues.“These are the things we’ll try to focus on through dialogue and discussions,” Foreign Minister Dr AK Abdul Momen told reporters in a virtual media briefing on Wednesday. Foreign Secretary Masud Bin Momen, among others, was present.
Responding to a question, the Foreign Minister said they will seek support from all for a “durable solution” to the Rohingya crisis and addressing the challenges posed by climate change.
On trade issues, he said there is a lot of potential to boost trade among the D-8 member states which remained untapped.
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina will lead the Bangladesh delegation at the Summit to be participated by the leaders of Egypt, Indonesia, Iran, Malaysia, Nigeria, Pakistan and Turkey.
The Prime Minister attended the first D-8 Summit held in 1997 and Dhaka successfully hosted the second D-8 Summit in 1999, said the Foreign Minister.
The theme of the D-8 Summit is “Partnership for a Transformative World: Harnessing the Power of Youth and Technology” and the Summit will adopt two documents “D-8 Decennial Roadmap 2020-2030” and “Dhaka Declaration 2021.”
Through the 10th Summit Bangladesh will assume the chairmanship of D-8 for the term of two years from Turkey which will create a new avenue for Bangladesh to share its development success story globally and will help expand its relations with the external world, Dr Momen said.
The D-8 aims for Economic Cooperation to improve member states’ position in the global economy, to diversify and create new opportunities in trade relations, to enhance participation in decision-making at international level, and to improve standards of living.
Before the Summit, the 19th D-8 Council of Ministers will be held virtually on April 7 where Foreign Minister Dr Momen will lead the Bangladesh side.
Meanwhile, the 43rd Session of the D-8 Commission will be held on April 5-6, said the Foreign Minister.
On April 5, D-8 Business Forum and first D-8 Youth Summit will be held on the sidelines of the Summit, he said.
The Summit will put emphasis on strengthening of intra-trade among D-8 member states and in that context will urge the member states to ensure benefits from the D8 Preferential Trade Agreement (PTA) through its proper implementation, reports UNB.