D-8 PTA likely to be operational this year to boost intra-trade

Publish: 7:51 PM, July 27, 2022 | Update: 7:51 PM, July 27, 2022

The Preferential Trade Agreement (PTA) among the D-8 member states is likely to be operational in October this year with the ratification by Egypt which will help boost intra-trade.

“Seven member states other than Egypt have ratified the D-8 PTA. You will be happy to know that Egypt has announced at this meeting that they will soon ratify the D-8 PTA,” said Foreign Minister Dr AK Abdul Momen while briefing the media on the outcome of the D-8 Ministerial meeting at a city hotel on Wednesday.

The volume of intra-trade among the D-8 member states at the time of establishment was $14 billion, which has now reached $129 billion.

“My hope is that within the next 10 years our intra trade will increase by 10 times. That’s my hope. There is no reason that we can’t achieve it,” Momen said.

While talking to UNB, D-8 Secretary General Ambassador Isiaka Abdulqadir Imam said the D-8 PTA is already there and they just need to make it operational. “We hope it will become operational by October this year.”

The D-8 Preferential Trade Agreement (PTA), signed on 13th May, 2006 in Bali, Indonesia is regarded as one of the most tangible outcomes of D-8 cooperation in trade.

Foreign Minister Momen said the process of finalization of the draft “Trade Facilitation Strategy” is underway with a view to speedy implementation of the D-8 PTA.

The issue was reviewed in the ministerial meeting and it is expected that this draft Trade Facilitation Strategy will be accepted in the 3rd Trade Ministers meeting to be held in Bangladesh soon, he said.

Momen talked about tariff barriers and hoped that those barriers will be removed to help boost trade among the member countries.

Responding to a question on inclusion of new members, the foreign minister said there has been discussion on Azerbaijan’s inclusion and there was no objection from any country. “But we have to develop the procedures for inclusion of new members.”

The Foreign Minister said Bangladesh will remain chair of the D-8 for another year as Egypt will remain busy with Conference of the Parties (COP 27).

“They (Egypt) made a special request. We have no objection. Other member states also agreed. This is good news for us,” he said.

The foreign minister said the D-8 energy ministers’ meeting will be held soon but the date is yet to be fixed.

Director General (International Organizations wing) Wahida Ahmed and DG (Public Diplomacy wing) Toufique Hasan were also present.

D-8, also known as Developing-8, is an organization for development cooperation among Bangladesh, Egypt, Indonesia, Iran, Malaysia, Nigeria, Pakistan and Turkey. It was officially launched in Istanbul in1997.

The establishment of D-8 was announced officially through the Istanbul Declaration of Summit of Heads of State/Government on June 15, 1997.

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.