In a major breakthrough, the transition period of the Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS) for the least developed countries has been extended for a period of another thirteen years.
After a long and intense negotiations among the members of the World Trade Organisation (WTO), a proposal in this regard has been adopted on Tuesday by consensus in the TRIPS Council.Bangladesh played a leading role in this regard on behalf of the Least Developed Countries (LDCs).
This is the longest extension up till now.
On this extension, Md. Mustafizur Rahman, Ambassador and Permanent Representative of Bangladesh in Geneva said, “The negotiation was not smooth at all. The developed countries - particularly, the US and the European Union were not agreeable to such a long transition period.”
“This special transition period will remain in force till 1 July 2034. With this achievement, I along with my colleagues are delighted,” he said in a statement, expressing satisfaction with the achievement, on Wednesday. The Permanent Representative also said, “Bangladesh is soon going to graduate from the list of the LDCs. Despite that, we were inclined to find a long term transition period for the LDCs so that they don’t need to sit for negotiation frequently.”
It may be mentioned that Bangladesh has been playing a leadership role on behalf of the LDCs in various international negotiations.
Currently, another proposal with regard to LDC graduation is under consideration in the General Council of WTO. Bangladesh is also leading the LDCs in this negotiation.At present Chad of Africa is playing the role of Coordinator in the organisation. But on the matters of trade and intellectual property rights, Bangladesh is leading the negotiations in the WTO.