About D8

WHAT DO D8

The Developing 8 (D-8 or Developing Eight) are a group of developing countries with large Muslim populations that have formed an economic development alliance. It consists of Bangladesh, Egypt, Indonesia, Iran, Malaysia, Nigeria, Pakistan, and Turkey. The objectives of D-8 Organization for Economic Cooperation are to improve member states’ position in the global economy, diversify and create new opportunities in trade relations, enhance participation in decision-making at international level, and improve standards of living. D-8 is a global arrangement rather than a regional one, as the composition of its members reflects. Organization for Economic Cooperation (D-8) is a forum with no adverse impact on bilateral and multilateral commitments of the member countries, emanating from their membership to other international or regional organizations

   Purposes and Objectives

In the first Summit Declaration (Istanbul, 1997), the main objective of D-8 is stated to be socio-economic development in accordance with following principles:

  • Peace instead of conflict.
  • Dialogue instead of confrontation.
  • Cooperation instead of exploitation.
  • Justice instead of double-standard.
  • Equality instead of discrimination.
  • Democracy instead of oppression.

    Thus D-8 objectives 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. By the same token, D-8 is a forum with no adverse impact on bilateral and multilateral commitments of the member countries, emanating from their membership of other regional or international organizations. The fifth D-8 Summit Declaration (Bali, 2006) produced the following, as illustration of the application of the group's objectives: Commitment to work together to solve the problem of economic disparities within our countries. Reaffirm commitment to enhance cooperation in the field of energy to develop alternative and renewable energy resources. Emphasise the importance of D-8 in contributing to the economic development of its member countries and ensure that it promotes global trade.

   The D-8 was founded by Necmettin Erbakan, former Turkish Prime Minister. The group was established after an announcement in Istanbul, Turkey on 15 June 1997. Membership is open to countries other than the current member-states, though no expansion is currently planned. As stated by the D-8 Facts and Figures Publication: "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 standards of living." The main areas of cooperation include finance, banking, rural development, science and technology, humanitarian development, agriculture, energy, environment, and health.

  Preferential trade agreement
 
Representatives of each of the eight developing countries signed a Preferential Trade Agreement on 14 May 2006 at the fifth D-8 Summit at Bali, Indonesia. The agreement is designed to gradually reduce tariffs on specific goods between member-states, with a supervisory committee overseeing the process. The purpose of the agreement is to reduce barriers to free trade between member states, as well as promote inter-state cooperation.
 
The combined population of the eight countries is about 60% of all Muslims, or close to 13% of the world’s population.
 
In 2006, trade between the D-8 member states stood at $35 billion, and it was around $68 billion in 2010. Transactions between the 8 developing countries account for 3.3 percent of world trade. The figure is projected to reach 10-15 percent in the next few years.
 
Structure
 
The Developing 8 is organized into three bodies
 
  • the Summit,
  • the Council,
  • the Commission.
The Summit, which is convened every two years, has the highest level of authority, and is composed of the leaders of each member state.
 
The Council is the principal decision-making body and forum for consideration of issues relating to the D-8, and is composed of the foreign affairs ministers of each member state.
 
The Commission has executive authority, and is composed of Commissioners appointed by each member state's government. Commissioners are responsible for promoting compliance with D8 directives in their respective nation. Finally, an executive director is appointed by D-8 members to facilitate communication and to act in a supervisory capacity during each summit or lower-level assembly.
 
Stature in international politics
 
The Developing 8 does not have a large impact on the affairs of more influential international organizations such as the United Nations, NATO, or ASEAN. The purpose of the organization is to coordinate the efforts of each member state, and not necessarily to join together in order to increase each member's collective influence in global politics. Since each member is still able to act unilaterally without significant repercussions from other members, the bargaining power of the organization on the world stage is constrained.