Work together to tackle post-LDC challenges: Speakers

1 March, 2021 12:00 AM printer

Speakers at a webinar on Sunday underscored the need for beginning work in a coordinated manner to stave off the potential negative impacts after LDC graduation by 2026.

 They said this at a virtual workshop on Health Safety Guidelines for Business Continuity and Trade Facilitation during COVID-19 for Dhaka Custom House organised by Business Initiative Leading Development (BUILD) and IFC, reports UNB.

This initiative is supported by Bangladesh Investment Climate Fund II, which is implemented by the International Finance Corporation (IFC), World Bank Group and funded by the Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office (FCDO).

 The objectives of the workshop were to sensitise concerned service providers and service takers to maintain health safety measures to run businesses even in the post-COVID stage to mitigate export losses.

BUILD CEO Ferdaus Ara Begum mentioned that the likely losses of export earnings annually for the country could be about $7 billion after the LDC graduation by 2026.

“We need to be prepared for that and start working in a coordinated manner to stave off the potential negative impact,” she added.

Ferdaus Ara also noted that revenue collection in different areas such as supplementary duty, export and VAT at domestic stage had gone down in December 2020 compared to those in the corresponding month of 2019.

“The worst sufferers are the small entrepreneurs while there was a decline in turnover tax of 31 percent in the corresponding period as mentioned above,” she added.

She put emphasis on applying the double speed strategy to overcome the challenges at the COVID recovery stage.

Additional Commissioner of Custom House Muhammed Mahbubur Rahman highlighted steps taken by them for smooth and effective implementation of their daily tasks while maintaining health safety protocol.

“The Custom House clears 3,000-4,000 bill of ladings (B/L) everyday while minimising risks and ensuring quality so that COVID exemptions are not abused,” he added.

He stated that in order to maintain export and import growth as well as manage the supply chain, they worked hard so that revenue collection does not fall. Because of their sincerity, import growth has remained steady.

Private Sector Specialist of International Finance Corporation Nusrat Nahid made a presentation highlighting issues of health safety and informed about the impacts of the COVID-19 in trade.

 She stressed the need to maintain different health and safety guidelines even after the roll-out of the vaccines.