The plan includes cooperation between Bangladesh, Egypt, Indonesia, Iran, Malaysia, Nigeria, Pakistan, and Turkey in trade, agriculture and food security, SMEs, energy, transport, tourism, and health.

Leaders of Developing-8 bloc meet virtually for 10th Summit of D-8 hosted by Bangladesh on April 8, 2021. Image posted on Developing-8's Twitter account.
Leaders of Developing-8 bloc meet virtually for 10th Summit of D-8 hosted by Bangladesh on April 8, 2021. Image posted on Developing-8's Twitter account. (Twitter/@D8org)

Developing-8 countries have agreed to enhance trade cooperation and bring their domestic trade volumes to at least 10 percent of the organisation’s total trade in the next 10 years.

During the 10th Summit of Developing-8 (D-8) Organization hosted by Bangladesh and also attended by Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, the bloc adopted the D-8 Decennial Roadmap for 2020-2030 and the Dhaka Declaration 2021.

With the road map, the bloc aims to become stronger and more developed and support the implementation of relevant strategies and action programs to help achieve the 2030 sustainability agenda set by the UN.

It also aims to design concrete project plans for each area of cooperation for achieving sectoral goals.

The roadmap includes cooperation in the areas of trade, agriculture and food security, industrial cooperation and SMEs (small-and-medium-sized enterprises), energy, transport and connectivity, tourism, and health.

The document is intended to help review, update, and build a structure based on existing mechanisms, considering the changing nature of the international economic climate.

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Three-stage plane

In the first stage, including a two-year period, the bloc will focus on generating and preparing projects on primary cooperation areas such as trade, industry, tourism, agriculture and food security, energy, and transportation.

In the second stage of the 2023-2027 period, trade cooperation will intensify and the focus will be on the execution of various projects in the six priority areas of cooperation.

The third and last stage, covering the years 2028-2030, will be a period of reviews and evaluations. 

The member countries aim to reach at least 10 percent of the total D-8 trade in their domestic trade volumes.

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Dhaka Declaration

In the declaration, the member countries reiterated commitments made in earlier summits “to peace, democracy, progress, dialogue, solidarity, partnership as well as tolerance and moderation as the core values and foundation for achieving economic prosperity and well-being of our peoples.”

They reaffirmed “strong faith” in multilateralism, particularly the UN system, and committed to active participation, effective coordination and cooperation with all relevant regional and international organisations to maximise the realisation of common interests.

The countries also highlighted the potential and benefits of South-South cooperation that contribute to their development.

The declaration emphasised the importance of enhancing cooperation in fighting the Covid-19 pandemic.

“Desiring to pursue the objective of sustainable socio-economic development and recognising the importance of mutual cooperation in six priority areas of cooperation: Trade, Agriculture and Food Security, Industrial cooperation and SMEs, Energy and Minerals, Transportation and Tourism,” it said.

Climate change is one of the greatest challenges of the time, the countries stressed, saying mitigation of and adaptation to climate change “represent an immediate and urgent global priority.”

They affirmed the importance of enhanced and deepened cross-sectoral cooperation for a more intensive private sector engagement in all activities to achieve intra-bloc trade goals.

Noting a desire to pursue the objective of sustainable socio-economic development, the countries recognised the significance of mutual cooperation in trade, industry, intellectual property rights, agriculture and food security, forestry, transportation, tourism, health and social protection, climate change, and environmental sustainability.

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Combating xenophobia, anti-Muslim sentiment

The declaration highlighted the benefits of making use of the immense potential of the blue economy, which could further broaden and diversify the trade basket internationally.

“Expressing our resolution to fight against all threats to economic development as well as peace and prosperity of the Member States, including terrorism in all its forms and manifestations, sectarianism and extremism, amongst others,” it said.

The countries also reaffirmed their will to fight racism, discrimination, xenophobia, and anti-Muslim sentiment in all forms.

The establishment of the Developing-8 bloc was officially announced on June 15, 1997, at the Istanbul Declaration of the Summit of Heads of State and Government.

The bloc includes Bangladesh, Egypt, Nigeria, Indonesia, Iran, Malaysia, Pakistan, and Turkey.

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Source: AA