Irfan Iqbal Sheikh, President FPCCI, has expressed his astonishment that the potentially powerful economic and trade bloc of Developing Eight (D-8) has only achieved 4.5pc regional or intra D-8 trade so far; despite being formed 25 years back and having a D-8 Preferential Trade Agreement (D-8 PTA) in place. Irfan Iqbal Sheikh has stressed the need to implement the D-8 PTA at the earliest and in its true spirit; as regional trade will bring prosperity and economic cooperation to the entire region. He added that regional economic blocs have up to 70 – 75pc of their total trade intra-regionally; and, we are still stuck at a meagre 4.5pc. Irfan Iqbal Sheikh has apprised that D-8 includes seven other very important countries for Pakistan economically for trade, investment, and joint ventures; i.e. Bangladesh, Indonesia, Egypt, Iran, Malaysia, Nigeria, and Turkiye. FPCCI President noted that the D-8 bloc represents more than 5pc of the global GDP; which makes the alliance a significant one for the D-8 countries in particular and the entire region in general. He explained that only if we can capture the D-8 market in value-added textiles; IT & ITeS services; sports goods; rice, fruits & vegetables; surgical equipment, and construction materials, Pakistan can enhance its exports by $5 – 10b within 2 – 3 years. FPCCI Chief said that the latest high-profile assembly of the bloc, i.e., D-8 Business Forum & Expo 2022, held in Dhaka Bangladesh; and, has seen the participation of several foreign, commerce, and investment ministers from D-8 countries. Specifically, presidents of various federal and apex chambers of the D-8 countries also attended the business forum and expo; along with prominent business leaders of their respective countries, he added. Irfan Iqbal Sheikh has informed the business, industry, and trade community of Pakistan that a decision to operationalize the D-8 PTA by the end of October fully has been taken; with the objective of growing the trade within the bloc to $500b by the year 2030. Irfan Iqbal Sheikh has highlighted that, in the last 25 years, D-8 countries have increased their intra D-8 trade volume from approximately $40b to $140b and has pinned his hopes on the alliance to achieve the target of $500b trade by 2030.