Transformation of D-8 economies vital for equal competition: Foreign Minister Qureshi

Inequality has increased gap between rich and poor countries and bred discontent among masses, FM tells virtual confab

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ISLAMABAD: Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi on Wednesday urged the D-8 countries to transform themselves to markets’ needs as economies could not compete equally without adapting the new paradigm of development in fourth industrial age.

“The new way is to produce in a highly decentralised and interdependent world economy. We must transform ourselves to the needs of our markets. Unless our economies adapt to this new paradigm of development in the fourth industrial age, we will not be able to compete as equals,” the foreign minister said while addressing the virtually held 19th D-8 Council of Ministers Session.

He thanked Turkey, the outgoing chair, for providing an effective leadership to the Organisation. He also congratulated and extended best wishes to Bangladesh as the incoming chair of the D-8 Summit.

Summit’s theme – “Partnership for a Transformative World: Harnessing Power of Youth and Technology”- he said, was both apt and timely.

“We are living today in a highly digitalised but unequal world. And Covid-19 has further accentuated these differences. Most of the developing countries have low integration into the global economy, the global supply chains and the world of education and culture,” Qureshi remarked.

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He said the inequality not only increased the gap between the rich and the poor countries, but also bred discontent among masses, especially the youth.

Urging the youth to play their role in shaping the future, the foreign minister said the D-8 was especially endowed with a youthful population. He told the session that around 60% of the 220 million Pakistanis were under the age of 30. He said investing in youth was therefore a key priority of Government of Pakistan which was empowering them through education, employment and engagement.

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