The D-8 countries stressed the importance of enhanced cooperation on the production, distribution and economic recovery of vaccines in the aftermath of the coronavirus pandemic.
They also stressed the need to develop trade and commerce among themselves.
At the 10th D-8 summit, hosted virtually by Bangladesh yesterday, D-8 leaders called on member states to cooperate in negotiations with international pharmaceutical companies, which will give members an advantage in terms of quantities and vaccine prices.
“All of them have expressed their concern about the Covid-19 vaccine. They have focused on vaccine production because the pandemic seems to be going on for some time,” Foreign Minister AK Abdul Momen said at a conference. virtual press after the summit.
“Our Prime Minister [Sheikh Hasina] said the vaccine should be a public good and everyone should have equal access to it, ”he said at a time when the world faces a vaccine shortage in the face of increasing cases of Covid- 19.
The eight-member group, which includes Bangladesh, Egypt, Indonesia, Iran, Malaysia, Nigeria, Pakistan and Turkey, established in 1997, aims to improve the position of member states in the world economy, to diversify and create new opportunities in trade relations, strengthen participation in international decision-making and improve the standard of living of the people.
Progress in achieving its goals has not been significant for more than two decades, but Foreign Minister Momen said that with the emergence of digital technologies, all countries belonging to the category of countries “ developing ”seek to stimulate trade and industrialization. Trade can be done through the digital marketplace, he added.
“The D-8 summit called on member states to consider conducting a feasibility study for establishing a pandemic disease fund to tackle diseases such as Covid-19 and called on ministries of health, public and private institutions to unite to make the most of laboratories and research centers must contribute significantly to accelerating the global economic recovery ”, according to the 38-point Dhaka Declaration adopted by the leaders of the D -8.
They pledged to combine their efforts to achieve effective adaptation to climate change by building resilience to climate change.
Bangladeshi Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, Indonesian President Joko Widodo, Iranian President Hassan Rohani, Malaysian Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin, Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan, Egyptian Prime Minister Mostafa Madbouly and Nigerian Minister Foreign Minister Geoffrey Jideofor attended the summit.
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has handed over the presidency of the D-8 Economic Cooperation Organization to Hasina for the next two years. Foreign Minister Momen also became Chairman of the D-8 Council of Foreign Ministers.
The theme of the 10th D-8 Summit “Partnership for a Transformative World: Harnessing the Power of Youth and Technology”, emphasized the power of youth and technology.
Prime Minister Hasina said that harnessing the power of young people can be done through skills development, using the full potential of ICTs, creating the necessary legal, institutional and infrastructural framework; and improving connectivity to facilitate trade and investment among D-8 member states.
“The D-8, which was created 24 years ago, is now ready to achieve its goal of economic development by creating synergies,” she said.
“Young people in our countries can be encouraged to come together through business initiatives at the private level and even government at the private level. The D-8 Business Forum as well as the 1st D-8 Youth Summit have created this rare opportunity, ”she added.
Momen said the D-8 countries have emphasized cooperation in the field of trade and tourism by signing a preferential trade agreement (PTA). Six of the eight countries have already ratified the PTA.
Trade between the D-8 countries is around $ 100 billion, which is only 6% of the group’s total trade, but the summit talked about increasing intra-country trade to 10% of by 2030.
“There are issues of trade facilitation and removal of non-tariff trade barriers. D-8 leaders have insisted on removing barriers and boosting trade,” Foreign Secretary Masud Bin Momen said.
“All the countries also talked about streamlining legal and institutional issues to increase trade,” he said.
The summit encouraged member states to explore the potential of a D-8 clearinghouse for smooth financial transactions; assess the possibility of creating D-8 special economic zones; explore the possibilities of developing transport connectivity to facilitate intra-D8 trade and operationalize visa and customs agreements.
Momen said Bangladesh, as chairman of the D-8 for the next two years, will do whatever is necessary to boost trade and investment among member states.
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