Bangladesh will host the 10th D-8 summit virtually on 8 April this year that will focus on trade, investment, tourism, mineral resources and the Rohingya crisis.
The participants will take a joint policy position on increasing cooperation in six issues – trade, agriculture and food security, industrial cooperation and small and medium industries, transport, energy and mineral resources, and tourism – in the upcoming summit, said Foreign Minister AK Abdul Momen in a virtual press conference on Wednesday.
Responding to a question, Momen said they will seek support from all for a durable solution to the Rohingya crisis and address the challenges posed by climate change.
Regarding the trade prospects, the foreign minister said, "It is true that after two decades of establishment, the achievement of D-8 is not strong, because our connectivity is not mature."
"We have done business worth $100 million among the D-8 countries after the organisation started its journey, but we are not satisfied with this. We want to unlock the trade prospects and the 10th summit will focus on it," the foreign minister added.
The D-8 Organization for Economic Cooperation, or the Developing-8, is a platform of Bangladesh, Egypt, Indonesia, Iran, Malaysia, Nigeria, Pakistan and Turkey for development cooperation.
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina will preside over the 10th D-8 Summit and will speak on behalf of Bangladesh. Besides, other D-8 heads of states will also address the Virtual Summit.
The theme of this year's summit is "Partnership for a Transformative World: Harnessing the Power of Youth and Technology."
The foreign minister said the theme is set to meet the challenges of the Fourth Industrial Revolution and to adapt to new technologies so that the youth of the D-8 countries can actively participate in the development of their respective countries by maximising their latent potential.
At the summit this year, the current D-8 Chair Turkey will hand over the responsibility to Bangladesh, which will be the D-8 chair for the next two years.
The 19th D-8 Council of Ministers will be held on 7 April and the 43rd Session of the D-8 Commission will be held on 5-6 April as a preparatory meeting of the D-8 Conference. The 19th D-8 Council of Ministers will be attended by a Bangladesh delegation led by the foreign minister.
The "D-8 Decennial Roadmap for 2020-2030" and "Dhaka Declaration 2021" are expected to be adopted at the forthcoming conference. The foreign minister expressed hope that the roadmap and the activities covered under the "Dhaka Declaration 2021" would be of special importance in the next two years of Bangladesh's chairmanship.
He also mentioned that the D-8 Business Forum will be held on 5 April on the sideline of the summit. There the Federation of Bangladesh Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FBCCI) will take over the chair of the D-8 Chambers of Commerce and Industry (D-8 CCI) from the Union of Chambers and Commodity Exchanges of Turkey.
As the chair of the D-8 CCI, Bangladesh will be expected to play a significant role in attracting trade and investment within the D-8 countries.
Bangladesh is also going to organise the first D-8 Youth Summit with the participation of youth representatives of the D-8 countries in the sideline of this year's conference. About 150 youth representatives from the D-8 countries will attend the Youth Summit.
On the occasion of the 10th D-8 Summit, a website called d8dhaka.com has been launched, where various information will be uploaded during the next two years, when Bangladesh will be in the chair.
Answering to a question, Momen said, "Organising the D-8 Summit and serving as the chair of the D-8 for the next two years will provide an opportunity to present to the world the unimaginable success stories of Bangladesh's development."
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina attended the first D-8 Summit held in 1997 and earlier, Bangladesh successfully hosted the second D-8 Summit in Dhaka in 1999.