Bangladesh is poised for graduation to a developing country status in 2026. The graduation may be hailed as a milestone for our country. The positive trend reflects the country’s sustained development in socio-economic indicators. But, the elevation in status will bring opportunities as well as challenges for the country. So, utmost care should be taken to face the challenges of LDC graduation.
Among the challenges, losing trade benefits in export destinations can be cited. However, the duty-free benefits will prevail till 2029 in the European Union (EU) markets only. In a bid to tackle the challenge, the country will have to enter productivity-driven competitiveness instead of preferential market-driven one, which is indeed a tough challenge. Likewise, it will face numerous challenges afterwards. Preparation of appropriate strategies and action plans are essential for ensuring smooth integration into the world economy. What are the country’s strategies and action plans to face the situation? The incumbent commerce secretary, in an exclusive interview with the Daily Sun, has shed lights on the prospects and problems vis-à-vis the country’s LDC graduation.The secretary has assured that the government has the capabilities to turn the challenges into opportunities. He has stressed the importance of increasing capacity, trade and communication connectivity, and productivity to remain competitive in the global business.
Besides seeking 10 years extension in existing GSP facility, the government is now exploring the possibility of bilateral arrangements like Preferential Trade Agreements (PTA) and Free Trade Agreements (FTA) with other countries. What is heartening to note that Bangladesh has already signed a PTA with Bhutan. The government is also trying to sign comprehensive economic partnership (CEPA) deals with large economies, especially with India for trade and service.
To achieve the goal, there is no alternative but to embrace appropriate technology. Skill development is a must for operating technology and human resource development. Special focus should be given on social and environmental compliance. Above all, child labour should have to be eradicated in industrial units and consumer rights must have to be ensured at any cost.