Monday, 6 December, 2021
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Preparations needed for remaining alive after LDC graduation: commerce secretary

Preparations needed for remaining alive after LDC graduation: commerce secretary

Commerce Secretary Tapan Kanti Ghosh on Tuesday said that it is very much needed for the country to make necessary preparations for remaining alive in the global competitive market after LDC graduation apart from availing support from various countries and international agencies. 

Besides, there is also a need for boosting productivity and ensuring diversification for which there is a need to bring reforms where it is deemed necessary.

The commerce secretary said this while addressing a workshop organized by the Economic Reporters' Forum (ERF) held at its conference room. The ERF organized the workshop ahead of the Ministerial meeting of the World Trade Organization (WTO) to be held in Geneva. 

The four-day 12th ministerial meeting of the WTO (MC-12) will be held in Geneva from November 30 to December 3, 2021.

In the MC-12, Bangladesh is expected to highlight a wide range of issues and also is expected to get results through fruitful bargaining. Director General of the WTO Cell of the Ministry of Commerce Md Hafizur Rahman and former member of the Bangladesh Trade and Tariff Commission Dr Mostafa Abid Khan spoke at the working session of the workshop.

Presided over by ERF President Sharmeen Rinvy, the workshop was moderated by ERF general secretary SM Rashidul Islam. 

The commerce secretary said that Bangladesh is expected to get the LDC facilities beyond 2026 while the LDC countries have come into consensus to raise their demand at the ministerial meeting for continuing the trade facilities for 6 to 9 years beyond the graduation. 

"Hopefully positive announcement will come in this regard. If there is no announcement in this regard, then Bangladesh will keep the issue alive. Bangladesh will also highlight its own position on GSP facilities, TRIPS, intellectual property rights, and subsidies in the fisheries sector. Bangladesh is not at all worried over holding its position in the global market," he added.

The commerce secretary said that Bangladesh has been doing well in those markets where many countries compete hard to export their products. He said the export of Bangladeshi goods in the Indian market in the first four months of the current fiscal year is positive while Bangladesh is also doing better in the US market. 

"It's a matter of relieve for Bangladesh. Besides, Bangladesh we'll also seek international support measures like GSP, GSP plus, TRIPS. If such facilities are not available, then it is also possible to ink bilateral trade agreements with the large trade partners."

Answering to a question, Tapan said that the EU has recently brought some changes on the GSP rules which may have some positive impact on Bangladesh. So, hopefully there will be no problem till 2030. Besides, discussion is going on so that Bangladesh could get the intellectual property rights on medicine under TRIPS. The export policy is being framed considering the challenges of the LDC graduation, he added.

WTO Cell Director General Md Hafizur Rahman said that many countries in the ministerial meeting have supported the proposals of Bangladesh or making same kind of proposals.

Mostafa Abid Khan discussed on the method of bargaining.