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D-8 countries should leverage on technological advancement to boost GDP, impact livelihoods- Dr Ado Muhammad

Bukola Afeni
 D-8 countries have an enormous opportunity to leverage available capacities in technological advancements across the bloc to grow the SME markets which will contribute to boosting member countries’ GDP and impact livelihoods, said the D-8 Health and Social Protection Programm(D-8 HSP).
The Global Director D-8 HSP Dr Ado Muhammad stated this at the first-ever D-8 Forum on Small and Medium Enterprises and Health Market on October 26th and 27th 2022 in Abuja.
He said over 1,1 billion people in D-8 countries which represents 13% of the world’s population with a cumulative GDP of US$4 trillion, US$ 1.5 trillion in exports, and US$110 billion are  In intra-trade.
Dr Muhammad added that the theme of the Forum “A coalition to re-invent SMEs competitiveness in the D-8 Region: Addressing the challenges faced by SMEs with special focus on Health Market within the D8 Region” was timely and appropriate.
While noting that the world has focused on revitalising and boosting the capacity of SMEs towards tackling the global recession.
He said the  D-8 HSP is committed to its mandate for equitable access to health pharmaceutical products for the most vulnerable population.
“Working with member countries’ pharmaceutical companies, multi-lateral organizations and institutions, the D-8 HSP is committed to the implementation of recommendations from the forum which includes: operationalization of the D-8 Preferential Trade Agreement, advancement of technological transfer in Health to improve medical services.
” Other areas of focus include capacity building and learning for SMEs and Pharmaceutical companies, improving access to capital and grants for SMEs, addressing Member Countries’ trade policy barriers that could inhibit market growth and support for SME’s access to raw materials”, he added.
He commended the Government of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, under the leadership of H.E. President Muhammadu Buhari, GCFR for hosting the first-ever D-8 Forum on Small and Medium Enterprises and Health Market in October.
 “We want to also thank Professor Ibrahim Gambari, Chief of Staff to the President of Nigeria and the Ministers of Foreign Affairs, H.E Mr Geoffrey Onyeama, and Ambassador Zubairu Dada, for their support that led to a successful forum”, said Muhammad.
The Forum which was convened by D-8 HSP and SMEDAN in collaboration with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Nigeria had participants drawn from the following organizations in D-8 countries; Ministries of Foreign Affairs, trade and investments, Small and Medium Enterprise Development Agencies, D-8 Export Promotion Organizations, High Commissioners of D-8 countries in Nigeria- Bangladesh, Egypt, Iran, Indonesia, Malaysia, Pakistan and Turkey. Other participants include the Islamic Development Bank (IsDB), the United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs (UNDESA), the Pharmaceutical Manufactures Group of Manufacturers Association of Nigeria (PMG-MAN), Small and Media Enterprises and many others.

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