The 10th D-8 Summit is going to be held today with hopes of a stronger global partnership for enhancing the power of youth and technology.
The summit will be attended by Bangladesh, Egypt, Indonesia, Iran, Malaysia, Nigeria, Pakistan, and Turkey.
Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina will lead the Bangladesh delegation at the summit.
In the summit, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan will hand over the chairmanship of the D-8 Organization for Economic Cooperation, also known as Developing-8, to Hasina for the next two years.
The objectives of D-8 are to improve member states' position in the global economy, diversify and create new opportunities in trade relations, enhance participation in decision-making at an international level, and improve standards of living.
Now, with the fourth industrial revolution and the coronavirus pandemic that is rattling the global economy, the leaders are putting emphasise on more connectivity, trade, technology, education, and employment that have been reflected in this year's theme "Partnership for a Transformative World: Harnessing the Power of Youth and Technology".
Bangladesh may also seek support from the D-8 countries on climate change and solving the Rohingya crisis during the summit to be held virtually, officials said.
The theme of the summit has been decided, keeping in mind that the youth of D-8 member states would be fully prepared to reap benefit from the Fourth Industrial Revolution and shall be equipped sufficiently to cope with the ever-changing world of ICT, said Foreign Minister AK Abdul Momen at the D-8 Council of Ministers ahead of the summit yesterday.
He said D-8 countries have a combined population of 1.1 billion people; of which 207 million, are aged between 15-24 years.
"We only need to tap the unbound potential of this youth turning the D8 into a vibrant, dynamic, and lively one."
Youth education and suitable employment are essential to harnessing the opportunities for economic growth associated with the demographic dividend, but they need the skills needed for a future that is digital and innovation-driven, he said.
"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 the D-8 Member States," Momen said.
He said the D-8 members need to stand together more than ever as the whole world is experiencing an unprecedented global public health and economic crisis.
"Since the overall objective of this global organisation is to improve Member States' life and livelihood situation through multiple approaches, I earnestly hope to create a D-8 digital marketplace, and create a suitable-for-all resilient post-pandemic cooperation model to ensure the common interests of all member states."
He said to minimise the worsening effects of Covid-19 on the world economy, Bangladesh would like to explore all avenues for economic recovery through collaboration among the D-8 member states.
Bangladesh believes in free and equitable access to markets for not only products but also services. It would 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.
Foreign ministers from the other D-8 member states also virtually attended the meeting.
Earlier, on April 5-6, the 43rd session of the D-8 Commission was held. On April 5, D-8 Business Forum and the first D-8 Youth summit were held.