The D-8 Chamber of Commerce and Industries, also known as D8 CCI, is mulling cross currency swap among the Developing-8 countries – Bangladesh, Egypt, Indonesia, Iran, Malaysia, Nigeria, Pakistan and Turkiye – to address foreign exchange reserve volatility and reduce pressure on the US dollar, D8 CCI President Sheikh Fazle Fahim said.
"Alternative trade financing can be used to address currency devaluation or volatility. To this end, barter [exchange of goods for other goods] and cross currency swap between D-8 countries can be a way. Indonesia has already started this [currency swap] with three countries," he said while talking to The Business Standard at the D8 CCI office in Dhaka on Sunday.
A currency swap is a transaction in which two parties exchange an equivalent amount of money with each other but in different currencies, according to Investopedia.
Fazle Fahim, also a former president of the country's apex trade body Federation of Bangladesh Chambers of Commerce and Industries, also talked about the upcoming Business Forum and Expo to be arranged by the D8 CCI in Dhaka on 26 July.
"There is a discussion over preferential trade agreements among the D-8 countries. With the continuous effort, initiatives will also be taken for the D-8 Comprehensive Economic Cooperation Agreement," the president added, saying that the existing trades among the countries can be increased manifold by reducing tariff and non-tariff barriers.
On the Business Forum, he said the value chain of mineral and energy, labour-intensive goods, light engineering, leather products and others will be discussed at the event.
"Besides, we will discuss technology-related collaboration."
Highlighting the issue of strengthening energy-related trade, Fazle Fahim said, Bangladesh can also import fuel oil from Nigeria if it gets competitive advantages. "Our task will be to work on addressing the non-tariff barriers."
The D8 CCI president said, currently the size of the economy of the D-8 countries is about $5 trillion and the amount of trade between the countries is $60-70 billion.
"It is possible to increase the trade to $500 billion by unlocking the further potentials, especially the potential of Halal trade."
Established in 1997, the D8, formally D-8 Organisation for Economic Cooperation, is going to celebrate its silver jubilee this year. Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina is currently the chair of the organisation. The D-8 CCI consists of the top business chambers of the eight countries.