The business leaders, at an event in Dhaka, called for joint investments to enhance sustainable expansion of trade and connectivity among the D-8 member countries.
"To this end, all the D-8 member countries should implement the preferential trade agreement (PTA) among themselves," two influential ministers of the government also echoed them while addressing at the D-8 CCI Business Forum and Expo 2022 at the Sonargaon Hotel on Tuesday.
The D-8 Chamber of Commerce and Industries (D-8 CCI) hosted the two-day event.
Gholam Hossein Shafei, president, Iran Chamber of Commerce, Industries, Mines and Agriculture (ICCIMA) said, "The only viable approach to activate D-8 Chambers of Commerce and the private sector represented by each would consist of enhancing the supply chain, making joint investment in member countries, joint production, and bilateral and multilateral cooperation with a view to enhancing production."
"Built on solid foundations, and representing more than a billion people with a total GDP of more than $41 trillion, the D-8 Organisation for Economic Cooperation is well-positioned to play an undeniably critical role in multilateral economic cooperation," he added.
Bangladesh Foreign Minister AK Abdul Momen said, "We should increase mutual strength, as well as to develop business and relations in the future, taking a lesson from the Ukraine-Russia war. We have a potential for expansion of trade worth $1.3 trillion more among the member countries in the next 10 years."
Mentioning that Bangladesh is establishing 100 economic zones and 28 hi-tech parks, the minister urged the D-8 member countries to invest in the economic zones and hi-tech parks.
"If necessary, we will establish special economic zones for D-8 member nations," he added.
The minister said, "Bangladesh is going to implement preferential trade agreement (PTA) D-8 member countries-- Türkiye and Malaysia. We hope that all the member countries will implement it."
Prime Minister's Advisor on Private Sector Industry and Investment Salman F Rahman said currently there is a global food crisis. We have a potential for exchange of sustainable technology in agriculture among D-8 countries. Common interests and opportunities among the member countries should be identified. The government will help create the environment for business expansion in the private sector. However, the communication between the business leaders of the countries should be increased to boost trade among them.
"Business organisations of all member countries will identify their business potential. Then the governments will do what they should do," he explained.
Commerce Minister Tipu Munshi said, "PTA should be implemented among D-8 countries. Potential SMEs, economic cooperation should be increased in the agricultural sector."
The PTA, signed on 13 May 2006 in Bali of Indonesia, is regarded as one of the most tangible outcomes of D-8 cooperation in trade.
Sheikh Fazle Fahim, president, D-8 CCI, said, "The current world economic situation clearly demonstrates the crucial importance of regional and multilateral agreements as one of the most effective tools to face global challenges, recent examples of which include the Covid-19 pandemic and the Ukrainian crisis, imposing heavy costs on other economies throughout the world .
The Federation of Pakistan Chamber of Commerce, (FPCCI) President Irfan Iqbal Sheikh, The Nigerian Association of Chambers of Commerce, Industry, Mines, and Agriculture (NACCIMA) representative Kola Akosile Adams also spoke.