D8 envisions PTA by 2023

Bangladesh’s trade with D8 countries increased to $10 billion

The D8 countries are planning to implement the preferential trade agreement (PTA) by next year.

Foreign Minister Dr AK Abdul Momen revealed this on Sunday while briefing reporters on the upcoming D8 foreign ministers conference in the city.

The D-8 Organization for Economic Cooperation, also known as Developing-8, is an organization for development cooperation among the following countries: Bangladesh, Egypt, Indonesia, Iran, Malaysia, Nigeria, Pakistan, and Turkey.

Momen also stated that apart from this, trade, food security and the ongoing energy crisis will be discussed in this meeting.

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina will inaugurate the meeting on July 27.

The foreign minister said that Bangladesh aims to expand its trade with the D8 countries.

Bangladesh’s trade with D8 countries increased to $10 billion.

Responding to a question he said as the world is facing a severe energy crisis, the upcoming meeting will devise ways and means to mitigate it.

Enhancing connectivity within the D8 countries will also be another focus for Bangladesh.

The minister added that during his recent visit to Malaysia and Indonesia, he held meetings with the foreign ministers of those countries where enhancing transportation and communication networks was emphasized.

Malaysia offered to increase the frequency of flights between Kuala Lumpur and Dhaka and Bangladesh has agreed to the proposal in principle.

Similarly, the Indonesian government also proposed to start flight operations between Dhaka and Jakarta.

The concerned officials are working on the possibility of these proposals, the minister added.

Momen also informed that the eight countries of the group will send their representatives to the meeting.

Iran will send its foreign minister, and other countries will send either state ministers or deputy ministers to the conference.

Raising food security will also be widely discussed in the D8 meeting as after the beginning of the Ukraine war, there is an apprehension of a prolonging food crisis in the world.

The meeting will also discuss a proposal to include Azerbaijan in the group.

The objectives of D-8 Organization for Economic Cooperation are to improve member states' position in the global economy, diversify and create new opportunities in trade relations, enhance participation in decision-making at international level, and improve standards of living.