D-8 Comprehensive Economic Partnership


Md. Joynal Abdin*

Business Consultant & Digital Marketer

Co-Founder & CEO of Bangladesh Trade Center

Multilateral trade regime under the umbrella of the World Trade Organization (WTO) lost its momentum due to non-compliance of developed countries and non-cooperation among the member states. International politics and disputes between USA & China, LDC versus Developed members and finally its voluntary nature of implement ability could be the reason behind slower motion and time-consuming features of WTO mechanism.


Regional trade blocks are also becoming weaker inactive due to disputes among two or more countries. For example, SAARC is in paralyzed condition due to rivalry of two largest neighbors India & Pakistan. US President Donald Trump neglected the spirit of NAFTA; Brexit hit EU spirit, similarly TPP died with the withdrawal of USA from the platform. OIC failed from the day one due to too many politics and leading countries abuse of this platform as per their own benefit. Current crisis of Muslim world with France may reorganize market mechanism between the Muslim countries with the west. OIC is not in a position to play its role in this crisis period due to leadership weakness. Therefore, Muslim world should go for alternative arrangement other than OIC. In such condition the D-8 Organization for Economic Cooperation could be strengthened and enlarge its member based and make it effective as an effective alternative of OIC and establish an effective tie between the members.


Just to recall, D-8, also known as Developing-8, is an organization for development cooperation among eight Muslim countries namely Bangladesh, Egypt, Indonesia, Iran, Malaysia, Nigeria, Pakistan and Turkey. It was established on June 15, 1997. The objectives of D-8 are to improve developing countries’ positions in the world economy, diversify and create new opportunities in trade relations, enhance participation in decision-making at the international level, and provide better standard of living. Major areas of cooperation under this platform are agriculture and food security, Industrial cooperation, Trade, Transport, Energy and mineral and Tourism etc.


If functional cooperation could be ensured in the field of agriculture and food security then member countries could share their competitive advantages and ensure food security of all D-8 citizens, Industrial cooperation could lead us into trans-border investment and technology transfer for mutual benefits. Trade cooperation should ensure free movement of goods and people among the member states. But trade performance among D-8 countries during last two decades has not been significant in comparison to their world trade volume. For example, export volume among D-8 in 2019 was USD 49,076 billion against their world export in the same time USD 761,447 billion. Similarly, import volume among D-8 Countries in 2019 was USD 50,183 billion against D-8 import from the world USD 843,985 billion. From both the figures it is clear that, D-8 trade between the member countries is very much insignificant against their international trade.


Why this inert D-8 trade is insignificant against their global trade volume? It could be due to their political misunderstanding among the member countries like Bangladesh & Pakistan, Egypt & Turkey etc. or economic reason behind it. In case of political miss understanding professionals like us have nothing to do other than recommending political leaders to minimize the gapes based on mutual understanding as soon as possible. Let’s see what economic reason there behind underperforming trade among the D-8 nations could be.


Top – 10 Export Items of D-8 Countries
Bangladesh Egypt Indonesia Iran Malaysia Nigeria Pakistan Turkey
HS 61 HS 27 HS 27 HS 27 HS 85 HS 27 HS 63 HS 87
HS 62 HS 71 HS 15 HS 39 HS 27 HS 89 HS 52 HS 84
HS 64 HS 39 HS 85 HS 29 HS 84 HS 83 HS 61 HS 72
HS 63 HS 85 HS 87 HS 26 HS 15 HS 18 HS 62 HS 61
HS 53 HS 08 HS 72 HS 08 HS 90 HS 12 HS 10 HS 85
HS 03 HS 31 HS 71 HS 72 HS 39 HS 31 HS 42 HS 71
HS 42 HS 07 HS 40 HS 74 HS 40 HS 08 HS 03 HS 27
HS 65 HS 62 HS 84 HS 25 HS 72 HS 24 HS 90 HS 73
HS 41 HS 72 HS 62 HS 07 HS 38 HS 41 HS 25 HS 62
HS 39 HS 61 HS 64 HS 31 HS 29 HS 88 HS 08 HS 39

Table -1: Top 10 Export Items of D-8 Countries (HS Code Wise)


From the table -1; it is shown that Bangladesh & Pakistan has most similarity / same items in their top 10 export items. Other countries have two or three items common but mostly different items are there in their export basket. Overall diversity is more prominent than the similarity in the export basket of D-8 countries. Let’s see the top -10 import items of the D-8 countries to identify scope of inter D-8 product exchange instead of importing from any third country.


D-8 Comprehensive Economic Partnership

D-8 Countries


Top – 10 Import Items of D-8 Countries
Bangladesh Egypt Indonesia Iran Malaysia Nigeria Pakistan Turkey
HS 52 HS 27 HS 84 HS 84 HS 85 HS 84 HS 27 HS 27
HS 27 HS 85 HS 27 HS 85 HS 27 HS 27 HS 84 HS 84
HS 84 HS 84 HS 85 HS 10 HS 84 HS 87 HS 85 HS 85
HS 85 HS 10 HS 72 HS 90 HS 39 HS 85 HS 72 HS 72
HS 72 HS 87 HS 39 HS 29 HS 72 HS 90 HS 29 HS 71
HS 39 HS 39 HS 87 HS 30 HS 87 HS 39 HS 39 HS 39
HS 87 HS 72 HS 29 HS 12 HS 90 HS 70 HS 15 HS 87
HS 55 HS 73 HS 73 HS 87 HS 71 HS 30 HS 87 HS 29
HS 54 HS 30 HS 10 HS 39 HS 29 HS 10 HS 12 HS 30
HS 60 HS 02 HS 90 HS 23 HS 38 HS 73 HS 52 HS 90

Table -2: Top 10 Import Items of D-8 Countries (HS Code Wise)


From the above information of Table – 2, Import items of Bangladesh & Pakistan are almost similar. But there are huge varieties among the other member states. Therefore, inter D-8 country trade potentials lies there. Not only these if we would like to analyze top – 10 import and export items of D-8 countries (Table – 1 & 2) then it is more prominent that, few D-8 countries import most which are readily exported by the fellow D-8 members and vice a versa. Therefore; it could be said that, D-8 countries have more trade supplementary product basket than that of the complementary items. It means if D-8 leaders can eliminate tariff and non-tariff barriers then inter D-8 trade will be increased and thus Muslim countries could be partner in each other’s development.


Not only in trade but D-8 countries could be development partner for each other’s through facilitating investment, technology transfer and transfer of military and non-military managerial know how through an appropriate mechanism under a comprehensive platform. If, NATO, EU, ASEAN & AGUA etc. international defense, trade and investment platforms  can perform; why D-8 cannot be strengthened further into a comprehensive partnership platform by including defense, trade and investment aspects to be real partners of each other’s. Number of member countries could be increased to make it practically functional and performing one. Thus our political leaders can transform D-8 prospects into reality to ensure meaningful mutual partnership in near future.


D-8 Comprehensive Economic Partnership: D-8 Comprehensive Economic Partnership


*Author’s Short Profile:

Business Consultant and Digital Marketer

Md. Joynal Abdin

Mr. Md. Joynal Abdin is a Business Consultant & Digital Marketer based in Dhaka, Bangladesh. He is also Co-Founder & CEO of Bangladesh Trade Center. Previously he served at Dhaka Chamber of Commerce & Industry (DCCI) as Executive Secretary; DCCI Business Institute (DBI) as Executive Director; SME Foundation as Deputy Manager; and the Federation of Bangladesh Chambers of Commerce & Industry (FBCCI) as Assistant Secretary.


The list of services Mr. Abdin is offering includes but not limited to Business Research and Documentations like Feasibility Study, Project Proposal Preparation, Writing Business Manual, Standard Operating Procedures etc.; Export Market Selection and Product Positioning at Home and Abroad; Buyers-Sellers Matchmaking; Website Development; Search Engine Optimization (SEO); and Social Media Marketing etc.


D-8 Comprehensive Economic Partnership: D-8 Comprehensive Economic Partnership

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