D-8 working on card payment system for trade in local currencies

Published 05.12.2018 00:00
Updated 05.12.2018 08:00

The Developing-8 (D-8) Organization for Economic Cooperation is working on a "card payment system" that requires the use of local currencies in trade between D-8 members, its secretary-general, Ambassador Dato' Ku Jaafar Ku Shaari said yesterday.

All the D-8 country leaders are concentrating on the financial problems the world is currently facing and its fragile state, Ku Jaafar said.

Ku Jaafar was quoted by Anadolu Agency (AA) as saying that they acted on President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan's statement at the 9th D-8 Summit in Istanbul in October 2017, suggesting the use of local currencies in trade between D-8 members.

"In this context, we came together with the officials of the Central Bank of the Republic of Turkey (CBRT) and asked for their opinions. They prepared and submitted a concept paper evaluating the subject from every angle. We also examined this and sent it to the central banks of all our members," Ku Jaafar said. "We also received feedback from them. We are currently assessing all of these. We have been working on the establishment of a ‘D-8 Clearing House' since last year. There are too many technical details, and this is a long-running project. We need more time to use a shared currency among the D-8 members, which we might consider as the next step."

Amid worsening concerns over international trade and the international monetary system, which is dominated by a single currency, President Erdoğan had on a number of occasions warned partner countries to resist global crises and pressures, pointing out that the importance of taking steps to remove the pressure of international exchange rates.

Using local currencies with trade partners has been on Turkey's agenda for some time now and it has taken some concrete steps to that end.

Ku Jaafar further stressed that they want to make progress on how to proceed in the trade between D-8 countries. "In fact, we are currently working on using our own currencies, rather than the shared currency to be used by D-8. We may have a shared currency in the future, but we must use our own currencies without any problems as soon as possible among these eight countries," he added

Ambassador Ku Jaafar pointed to different projects carried out in this sense, noting that they are in talks with a financial technology (fintech) company which is trying to prepare a "D-8 Payment Card" containing many features.

"One of these features would allow you to shop in your local currency," he continued. "For example, you are in Malaysia with a D-8 card which will allow you to shop without converting your money into Ringgit or dollars and incurring any loss. The trade in local currencies and the D-8 card are two separate projects being carried out simultaneously. They are both important to us," he said.

Meanwhile, Turkey called for the formation of a clearinghouse in the D-8 countries to conduct trade in local currencies, Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu said last month during his address at the 18th Meeting of the Council of Foreign Ministers of the Organization of the D-8 in southern Antalya province.

Pointing to the current worsening developments related to global trade, Çavuşoğlu said the best response would be to use local currencies in trade. He noted Turkey is preparing to trade in local currencies with countries such as China, Russia, Iran and Ukraine, adding that such negotiations with other countries are also underway.

On June 15, 1997, the D-8 was launched after Turkish Prime Minister Necmettin Erbakan proposed the creation of an economic group consisting of eight emerging economies from the Muslim world.

Formed as an economic alliance, the body consists of Bangladesh, Egypt, Indonesia, Iran, Malaysia, Nigeria, Pakistan and Turkey.

Two of its members - Turkey and Indonesia - are part of the G20, a group of the world's 20 biggest economies.

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