The President of Iran considered the strengthening of multilateralism as the main priority of Iran’s foreign policy. Iran is fully prepared to participate in the implementation of the D-8 agreements on issues, such as (unilateralism, economic terrorism) as well as issues that have tarnished the characteristics of the international community.
The President also added that, “From the standpoint of economic development, we have invariably supported the developing and attuned countries’ collective strive for a fair and non-discriminatory international economic system”.
Speaking on Thursday at the 10th Virtual D-8 Summit, President Rouhani said, “Further to the disaster of COVID-19, unilateralism, economic terrorism and the way they have been addressed are among the issues that have stained the features of the international community”.
The ultimate goal of all these collective and legitimate efforts by developing countries is to attain economic growth, balanced development, public welfare and prosperity, and to preserve national values and cultures and secure a decent status in international relations
He continues that, we have become an active member of international and regional groupings such as the Group of 77 (G77), Indian Ocean Rim Association (IORA), Economic Cooperation Organization (ECO), Cooperation Mechanism of the Caspian Littoral States, and, of course, the D-8. From the vantage point of convergence and business interaction, we are laying the foundations of free regional trade with neighboring countries and we will soon establish, together with the Eurasian countries, the first free-trade zone.
Notwithstanding its geographical dispersion, the D-8 Organization enjoys tremendous capacities and bounties of, inter alia, human and natural resources, energy reserves. Further, we all have more or less similar challenges on our paths to economic development. The last of these challenges is COVID-19 pandemic which has upset the countries’ entire constellation of economic and developmental calculations and designs, projecting before the global community a form of uncertainty in their future prospects. The D-8 Member States have waiting for them around the corner important decisions to make in order for cooperation in the post-COVID era. With such a point of view, the present Summit may align Member States and the Secretariat on a clear path forward.
Ever since the dawn of the D-8, the Islamic Republic of Iran has endeavored to play its part in the accomplishment of the lofty objectives of the Organization. Such measures as the establishment of the D-8 International University and D-8 Technology Transfer and Exchange Network, which, combined, target two key areas of ‘education and human resource development’ and ‘development of technological cooperation’ among eight countries, are testimony to our efforts. We are fully prepared to participate in the operationalization of D-8 agreements in IT, trade facilitation, investment, agriculture, petrochemicals, science, health, tourism, and facilitation of visa issuance.
Given the importance of foreign trade for national development and public welfare of the great people of D-8 Member States, I would like to stress that the current trade volume among the eight countries is a far cry from the actual trade potentials of the D-8. As such, it is necessary that certain mechanisms be developed for the facilitation and promotion of trade among Member States, including through customs and banking facilities and mechanisms as also non-banking ones. In this context, such proposed initiatives as a D-8 chamber of barter trade and D-8 credit cards may be helpful.
With such a market, it is possible to jointly invest in areas that demand large-scale investment and market. The large industrial and research and development mega-projects of modern economics that have already been studied and decided within the Organization, deserve a revisit and serious action.
In conclusion, the president of Iran, stressed the need of paying attention to the public and private sectors to deepen cooperation within the framework of the D-8.
An invaluable asset of the D-8 countries, in addition to their rich Islamic culture and immense human capital, is the huge market of the eight countries in comparison with other Muslim countries.
Commend the adoption of the statute of the D-8 Chamber of Commerce and Industry as we firmly believe that the private sector of the Member States is the backbone of their economies and will help to promote business across national borders and increase the density of intra D-8 trade. We applaud the successful initiatives of D-8 CCI, including preparation of the report on “How to Facilitate B2B Interaction within the D-8 Framework”, the Business Forum of 2018 and the Joint Declaration of D-8 CCI at the 18th Session of the D-8 Council of Ministers on 3 November 2018. We also support the idea of the establishment of D-8 CCI digital platform for the promotion of trade and business among the D-8 Member States and the rest of the world.
He reaffirmed his commitment to the 2030 Plan for sustainable development.
Likewise, he welcomed the proposal of the People’s Republic of Bangladesh for the formation of the D-8 Working Group in order to tackle the economic adversities of the COVID-19 pandemic by identifying ongoing challenges in areas of trade and investment And coming up with proposals on addressing these challenges and charting out recommendations to address these challenges during and post pandemic scenario and decide to Establish
The Working Group, the first meeting of which will take place in Bangladesh.
Mr. Rouhani pointed out the use of the existing platform of the Technology Transfer and Exchange Network (D-8 TTEN) for close cooperation in the adoption and promotion of emerging technologies, science and technology policy, technology values and technology transfer management among D-8 member countries.
Welcome the adoption of the D-8 Decennial Roadmap 2020-2030 and stress the importance of effective implementation of the document. We also urge all the stakeholders to play their role in the full implementation of the adopted Roadmap. 18. Applaud the Government of the People’s Republic of Bangladesh for successfully organizing the D-8 Business Forum.
Mr. Rouhani at the end of his statement stress the need for a strong and efficient Secretariat as a pre-requisite for achieving the goals and objectives of the Organization and direct the Council of Ministers to consider and adopt mechanism for the strengthening of the Secretariat.
Finally, he supported and appreciated the secretariat’s efforts to utilize all medium of communications, including social and print media, as well as participation of its officials in important international meetings, conferences and events in order to disseminate images and news.