DHAKA, April 7, 2021 (BSS) – Foreign Minister Dr AK Abdul Momen today proposed to create a resilient post-pandemic cooperation model among all D-8 countries for improving member states’ life and livelihood situation after the COVID era.
“I earnestly hope to create a D-8 digital marketplace, and create a suitable-for-all resilient post-pandemic cooperation model to ensure the common interests of all member states,” he said.
The Bangladesh foreign minister was virtually addressing the D-8 19th Council of Ministers (COM), as the chair, attended by all his counterparts of seven other D-8 member states.
The D-8 Organization for Economic Cooperation, also known as Developing-8 consists of 8 developing Muslim dense countries– Bangladesh, Egypt, Indonesia, Iran, Malaysia, Nigeria, Pakistan and Turkey.
Momen said Bangladesh would like to explore all avenues for economic recovery through collaboration among the D-8 member states to minimise the worsening effects of Covid-19 on the world economy.
“As the whole world is experiencing an unprecedented global public health and economic crisis caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, I personally feel the urge that, we, the D-8 Member States need to stand together more than ever,” he said.
Momen said Bangladesh believes in a free and equitable access to markets for not only products but also services.
“A D-8 incubation initiative might be a good option to consider,” he said, adding that Bangladesh strongly believes in enhancing knowledge-sharing and connectivity amongst D-8 Member States in this regard.
“It would obviously facilitate D-8 governments and private sectors to come together to highlight how D-8 Member States can deepen connectivity, networking and collaboration in light of experiences of the Covid-l9 era,” he observed.
During the COM, Turkish foreign minister handed over the COM chairmanship to Bangladesh foreign minister for the next two years.
After chairing the D-8 for two years during the period of 1999 – 2001, Momen said Bangladesh is going to hold the Chairmanship of the D-8 for the second time after two decades.
“This is happening at a time when we are celebrating the birth centenary of the Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman and we are also observing the Golden Jubilee of our independence,” he said.
Moreover, the foreign minister mentioned, recently Bangladesh has fulfilled the UN criteria for graduating from the LDC Group of countries. “We are indeed honoured and happy for having the opportunity of chairing the D-8 at this historic moment,” he added.
Dhaka is set to hold the 10th D-8 Summit virtually on Thursday aiming to seek more investment and trade from the member states.
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina will lead the Bangladesh delegation while her counterparts of the rest seven D-8 member states will head their respective sides at the summit under the theme – “Partnership for a Transformative World: Harnessing the Power of Youth and Technology”.
Momen said this year’s theme was chosen keeping in mind that the youth of D-8 Member States would be fully prepared to reap benefit from the Fourth Industrial Revolution (4IR) and shall be equipped sufficiently to cope with the ever-changing world of Information and Communication Technology.
Mentioning that D-8 countries have a combined population of 1.1 billion people, of which 207 million, nearly 19 per cent, are aged between 15-24 years, the foreign minister said, “We only need to tap the unbound potential of this youth turning the D8 into a vibrant, dynamic, and lively one”.
At the tomorrow’s summit, Turkey, the current chair of D-8 will hand over the
chairmanship to Bangladesh for the next two years while “D-8 Decennial Roadmap 2020-2030” and “Dhaka Declaration 2021” are likely to be adopted.