In order to minimise the worsening effects of Covid-19 on the world economy, Bangladesh stresses the need for exploring all avenues for economic recovery through collaboration among the D-8 member states.
Foreign Minister Dr AK Abdul Momen said this on Wednesday while addressing the 19th Council of Ministers (COM) of the D-8.
“It would obviously facilitate D-8 governments and private sectors to come together to highlight how D-8 member states can deepen connectivity, networking and collaboration in light of experiences of the Covid-l9 era,” the minister who chaired the meeting said.
Bangladesh believes in a free and equitable access to markets for not only products but also services, he added.
He also pledged that Bangladesh will take all pragmatic initiatives to open new avenues of cooperation among the D-8 member states with the aim of making this group even more ‘vibrant, active and of course, effective’.
After chairing the D-8 Organisation for Economic Cooperation for two years during the period of 1999 – 2001, Bangladesh is going to hold the Chairmanship of the D-8 for the second time after two decades.
“The theme of the 10th D-8 Summit is 'Partnership for a Transformative World: Harnessing the Power of Youth and Technology' keeping in mind that the youths of D-8 member states would be fully prepared to reap benefit from the Fourth Industrial Revolution (4IR) and shall be equipped sufficiently to cope with the ever-changing world of Information and Communication Technology,” foreign minister told the meeting.
As D-8 countries have a combined population of 1.1 billion people; of which 207 million, nearly 19 per cent, are aged between 15-24 years, the member states need to tap the unbound potential of these youths turning the D8 into a vibrant, dynamic, and lively alliance, the minister noted.
“D-8 requires to take leadership in this particular area to ensure job creation while equipping them with the right skills. A D-8 incubation initiative might be a good option to consider. In this regard, Bangladesh strongly believes in enhancing knowledge-sharing and connectivity amongst D-8 member states,” he added in this regard.
Briefing the D-8 members about Bangladesh’s Covid recovery drive, he said, from the very beginning of this pandemic, the government of Bangladesh has put equal importance on the lives and livelihood.
“The government announced 31-point directives immediately after the breakout of Covid-19. We have provided stimulus packages worth more than 14.6 billion dollars equivalent to around 4.44 per cent of our GDP for our population”.
Dr Momen recommended for creating a D-8 digital marketplace, and creating a suitable-for-all resilient post-pandemic cooperation model to ensure the common interests of all member states.
Bangladesh foreign minister thanked Mevlut Cavusoglu, foreign minister of the Republic of Turkey, for his successful tenure as the chair of the D-8 Council of Ministers and appreciated him ‘for the phenomenal contribution that was made to the D-8 under’ his stewardship.