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April 9, 2021

Imran presents roadmap to boost D-8 trade to $500bn by 2030

Top Story

April 9, 2021

Ag Agencies

ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Imran Khan has proposed a roadmap to materialise the vision of the D-8, which aims at expanding trade among the countries to $500 billion by 2030 as he made an impassioned plea to mobilise resources to robustly recover from the Covid-19 pandemic.

Addressing the 10th D-8 virtual summit on Thursday, he invited the D-8 leaders to consider his five-point plan and join advocacy for Covid-19 related relief measures to deal with the unique economic and financial challenges faced by developing countries as a result of the pandemic, state media reported.

The D-8 Organisation for Economic Cooperation, also known as Developing-8, is an organisation for development cooperation among Bangladesh, Egypt, Indonesia, Iran, Malaysia, Nigeria, Pakistan, and Turkey.

Khan proposed taking concrete actions to achieve the target of expanding inter-D-8 trade from the current $100 billion to $500 billion by 2030.

He said it should include measures like simplification of border procedures, enhancing institutional linkages and operationalising new initiatives.

Khan said Pakistan welcomes ideas like “D-8 Payment Card” which would enable transactions in local currencies. The Prime Minister said D-8 should develop a Youth Engagement Strategy focused on promoting cultural, educational, scientific and business exchange.

He said linkages should be established between educational institutions like scholarships, skill development, trainings, fellowships, joint research and exchange program for the youth, particularly in the field of science, technology, and innovation.

Khan emphasised promoting knowledge-based economies, increase expenditure for research and development and focus on rapid digitisation. He said technological development is the gateway to economic prosperity, particularly in the post pandemic period when reliance of technology would be greater than ever in the human history. The Prime Minister stressed the need to make D-8 more relevant to the lives of citizens by promoting food security, enhancing cooperation in health, holding joint sports events and helping each other during natural disasters.

He said: “We need high-level of commitment and mobilisation of financial resources by both developed and developing economies to achieve these goals.”

He said partnerships between governments, international financial institutions, businesses and civil society are essential to leverage technology, innovation and skills to enable every young person to have all opportunities to realise their full potential.

Khan expressed the confidence that “our collective wisdom and commitment will bring a new vigour to D-8”.

The Prime Minister also said Pakistan was pursuing multiple initiatives and programmes to the harness potential of youth and provide them with education, skills and training. He said harnessing technology, promoting innovation and investing in youth education, skills and training is an urgent imperative.

This year’s theme of the conference was “Partnership for a Transformative World: Harnessing the Power of Youth and Technology. The Prime Minister said because of the inter-connectedness of the countries and economic, social and environmental vulnerabilities created by this interconnectedness, the coronavirus pandemic has caused the death of over 2.9 million people and more than 250 million people have become unemployed and trillions of dollars were lost as a result of the global economic contraction.

The Prime Minister said the coronavirus has taken a heavy toll on poor countries and also inequality had been accentuated within the countries and between the rich and poor countries. The developing countries were not only faced with the dilemma of saving their citizens from the deadly virus but they also have to save people from hunger, he observed.