Dhaka urges UN body to ease multilateral trading

Staff Correspondent

20 April, 2019 12:00 AM printer

Bangladesh has placed six proposals to make the multilateral trading system more effective for sustainable development.

Prime Minister’s Principal Secretary Md Nojibur Rahman placed the recommendations at the high-level thematic panel discussion titled “Trade, science, technology, innovation and capacity building of the 4th ECOSOC Forum on Financing for Development (FFD)” at the UN Headquarters on Thursday, said a press release issued on Friday.

Sofie Maddens, Head, Regulatory Market Environment Division, ITU and Miho Shirotori, Chief, Global and Regional Trade Analysis Section, UNCTAD were the other panelists of the event.

Nojibur Rahman said the international community must promote a universal, rule-based, open, transparent, predictable, inclusive, non-discriminatory and equitable multilateral trading system.

The implementation of WTO Ministerial decisions is really important for the promotion of trade, he said.

Second, according to NojiburRahman, it is imperative for the WTO to address the current challenges faced by the international trading system.

“It needs to be ensured that development remains at the front and center of the multilateral trading system,” he said.

Sharing his third recommendation, NojiburRahman said issues such as trade barriers, trade-distorting subsidies and other trade-distorting measures must be addressed.

According to his 4th proposal, the Doha Development Agenda aiming at addressing the systemic imbalances in the multilateral trading system needs to be concluded.

Besides, digital platforms and fintech can help strengthen trade financing for MSMEs, according to the 5th proposal.

Finally, he said ‘Aid for trade’ support should be increased for the capacity building, diversification, value addition and integration of the low income countries into the global value chains.

Nojibur also referred to the UNCTAD e-Trade Readiness Assessment that recognized Bangladesh’s bright prospect in e-commerce and equitable distribution of the benefits throughout the economy because of its remarkable progress in telecommunications infrastructure, trade logistics, payment solutions, laws and regulations, skills development, and financing.

Mentioning that the developing and the least developed countries have started the e-commerce only recently, he said, adding that to reap the benefits of e-commerce and to minimize the risks, and also to gain people’s confidence, the countries will have to address the barriers to business from an ‘ecosystem perspective.