D-8 can emerge as powerful economic block: PM

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Dhaka, Feb 23: Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on Wednesday said the Developing-8 countries collectively have a great potentiality to emerge as a powerful economic block.

The premier came up with the remarks as D-8 Secretariat’s Secretary General Isiaka Abdul Qadir Imam paid a courtesy call on her at her official Ganabhaban residence here.

PM’s Press Secretary Ihsanul Karim briefed the newsmen after the meeting.

Both the leaders also reiterated the need for materialising the Preferential Trade Agreement (PTA) to harness immense potential for promoting trade among the member countries.

They emphasised the thrust sectors of the D-8 such as the trade, economy, commerce, transport, agriculture, tourism, education and energy.

The D-8 secretary general also expressed keen interest in Bangladesh’s special economic zone and appreciated the progress made in the ICT sector here. Sheikh Hasina apprised the secretary general of the success of Bangladesh’s agriculture sector, saying, “Researchers of her country have innovated drought and saline tolerant rice varieties.”

She added that Bangladesh can share its experience with D-8 countries in the agriculture sector.

The prime minister congratulated Isiaka Abdul Qadir Imam on his assumption of office as the D-8 secretary general.

She hoped that his leadership would infuse further dynamism in introducing new ideas for innovative partnership among D-8 member countries.

She reiterated her country’s full commitment in steering the important events of D-8 under Bangladesh’s chairmanship in the coming days.

The prime minister expressed satisfaction over successful hosting of the 10th D-8 Summit, held virtually in Dhaka in April, 2021 amid the global pandemic.

PM’s Ambassador-at-large Mohammad Ziauddin and PM’s Principal Secretary Dr. Ahmad Kaikaus were present.