Foreign Minister Dr Adbul Momen has called upon the D-8 countries to work together to overcome the present crisis, expressing hope that greater economic ties among the D-8 nations can boost to $1.3 trillion in the next 10 years.
“I have no doubt, if we sincere, we can increase our intra-country trade volume to $1.3 trillion in next ten years,” Momen said on Tuesday while addressing the inaugural function of a two-day D-8 Chamber of Commerce and Industry (D-8CCI) Business Forum and Expo 2022 being held in Dhaka.
About the strength of D-8 countries, he cited that there are 200 million young people in the eight D-8 economies.
“We should move forward overcoming all barriers. And more importantly, our young people and women entrepreneurs are coming up. We should engage our youths and women with digital technology and skills, any kind of target can be achieved through the D8 platforms,” he stated.
He also called upon other seven member countries to invest in Bangladesh as the country is developing 100 economic zones and 28 IT parks across the country.
“You could be winners through setting up factories at these economic zones and hi-tech parks to leverage the hard-working and intelligent labour forces,” he stated, informing that Bangladesh offers the full return of profit.
Commerce Minister Tipu Munshi added that the Bangladesh government is thinking about establishing a special economic zone for the D-8 member countries.
“We should work together to overcome all difficulties we are facing from the global crisis. We have history, we have capable people. Let us move together,” he remarked. “I have no doubt; the D8 countries have the potentials to grow together.”
In his speech, Commerce Minister Tipu Munshi also emphasized working together to overcome challenges posed by the covid and Ukraine war.
He said no issues should be more important than building a value chain within the D-8 countries which are geographically detached.
Citing ample scope of increasing intra-D-8 trade, he informed that out of $1.94 trillion in international trade of these countries, only 6.6 percent trade is taking place among the member countries.
Adviser to Prime Minister Salman F Rahman stressed that D-8 countries can share technologies to ensure food security. He said Bangladesh’s young population can benefit from collaboration in IT and other emerging technologies.
He has also emphasized P2P and B2B contact as the private sector will play the actual role. He asked D-8 CCI president Sheikh Fazle Fahim to come up with suggestions that the government can facilitate.
State Minister for Foreign Affairs Shahriar Alam, Federation of Bangladesh Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FBCCI) Jasim Uddin, D-8 CCI president Sheikh Fazle Fahim and secretary general Gholam Hossein Shafei and chamber leaders of Turkey, Pakistan, Malaysia, and Nigeria also spoke on the occasion.