D-8 conferences discuss impact of coronavirus on member states

March 13, 2021 - 21:1

Tehran – Member states of the D-8 Organization for Economic Cooperation, also known as Developing-8, on Wednesday discussed the impact of coronavirus on the tourism sector as well as ways to rebound.

Furthermore, the participants also discussed several issues regarding the global impact of the Covid-19 pandemic in West Asia and outside of the region, in line with the rapid changes in the political, economic, educational, and social spheres. The event also witnessed research papers and articles from the universities of the D-8 Member States such as Indonesia, Iran, Malaysia, Turkey.

The Third Meeting of the Senior Officials on Tourism Cooperation was hosted virtually by the Federal Ministry of Information and Culture of Nigeria on March 9 and 10.

Iran’s tourism industry has suffered a loss of some 220 trillion rials (about $5.2 billion at the official exchange rate of 42,000 rials per dollar) since the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic, Cultural Heritage, Tourism, and Handicrafts Minister said in late Feburary. “Iran’s tourism has suffered some 220 trillion rials due to corona pandemic so far…. and we hope that with the production of domestic vaccines, tourism will flourish in 1400 [the new Iranian calendar year which begins on March 21],” Ali-Asghar Mounesan said. 

“Over 1.5 million jobs have been lost in the tourism sector of Iran due to the COVID-19 disease…. Many of the tourism-insiders are now unemployed or they are staying at home,” Mounesan announced last December. Despite the toughest economic pressures and sanctions, the government has provided good support to all sectors of tourism, the minister said. However, there is hope that the beginning of mass vaccination against the coronavirus will provide better conditions for tourism and businesses related to this sector, he explained.

Last November, the Islamic Repiblic announced it would consider abolishing visa rules for passport holders from the group of D-8 countries. D-8 citizens will not need visas for trade or medical purposes, Iran’s deputy tourism minister Vali Teymouri said. The official, however, did not provide more detail on further proceedings, while he was addressing an online conference attended by the member states.

D-8, also known as Developing-8, is an organization for development cooperation among the following countries: Bangladesh, Egypt, Indonesia, Iran, Malaysia, Nigeria, Pakistan, and Turkey. The establishment of D-8 was announced officially through the Istanbul Declaration of Summit of Heads of State/Government on June 15, 1997. The objectives of the 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 the international level, and improve standards of living.

AFM/

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