The Developing Eight (D-8) Organization for Economic Cooperation has set its sights on boosting tourism revenues among its member countries in the year 2023. Established in the aftermath of the Istanbul Declaration during the summit of member states and heads of government on June 15, 1997, in Istanbul, under the leadership of the late Prime Minister Necmettin Erbakan, the Istanbul-based organization is committed to fostering prosperity and peace among its eight member states — Türkiye, Nigeria, Egypt, Pakistan, Indonesia, Iran, Malaysia, and Bangladesh.
With a combined population of 1.2 billion and a noteworthy 14% share in global trade, the organization remains steadfast in its mission to enhance cooperation among member states. Under the chairmanship of Bangladesh, the D-8 Organization has been diligently addressing issues related to tourism and funding shortages in 2023.
Tourism Recognized as a Vital Component of Economic Cooperation
Ambassador Isiaka Abdulqadir Imam, the Secretary-General of the organization, highlighted the active nature of the year, citing numerous sectoral meetings, particularly the D-8 Commission meeting. Hosting gatherings in Istanbul and Bangladesh, D-8 signed a series of decisions during meetings in February and October.
Emphasizing the significance of the Tourism Ministerial meeting in Pakistan held in August, Ambassador Imam underscored tourism as a key area for economic cooperation among member states. Türkiye’s success in generating over $20 billion in tourism revenues from January to June serves as an exemplary model for other member states.
Beyond tourism, D-8 is actively engaged in collaborative efforts, including the establishment of a barter trade system to mitigate the impact on foreign exchange reserves. The organization has signed a Memorandum of Understanding with a private company in Türkiye, with plans for a stakeholder meeting in the near future.
Ambassador Imam also revealed that efforts are underway to establish the D-8 Center for Progressive Economy in Malaysia. Additionally, an agreement has been reached with the Malaysia-based Al-Hidayah Group to establish an economic and financial center in the country. Recognizing the significance of e-commerce, Imam expressed the organization’s intent to aggressively pursue e-commerce initiatives, aiming to connect entrepreneurs and people across three continents.
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