Saturday, 30 September, 2023

For a joyous LDC graduation

For a joyous LDC graduation

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Graduation from the United Nations’ least developed country (LDC) category will be one of the biggest developmental milestones for Bangladesh since its independence in 1971. Bangladesh has already fulfilled all the criteria for the graduation. By anonymously approving Bangladesh’s graduation from an LDC to a developing country, the UNGA has given it a transition period of five years until 2026 to prepare for a smooth transition. After the official LDC graduation, Bangladesh will no longer be considered as the underdog requiring special considerations. So, preferential trade benefits like the GSP facility in the EU and other markets which helped our export-oriented sectors immensely will be withdrawn. Thus our export-oriented sectors will face more competition in the world market.

Therefore, when the LDC graduation is going to be a matter of huge pride for Bangladesh, it will also bring forth many challenges. However, since Bangladesh is showing a strong political commitment, its LDC graduation is going to be a joyous occasion, said Ragnheiour Elin Arnadottir, Director of the OECD Development Centre. Her comment also indicates that without strong political commitment to reform and uphold human and labour rights, which are among the requirements to securing GSP+, the graduation is not going to be that joyous for us as a country.

Therefore, from now on the government and the stakeholders will have to work on increasing capacity of export-oriented sectors, reforming labour rights laws, making factories more eco-friendly and pursuing economic diplomacy to extend preferential market access facilities in the post-LDC era. Apart from trying to sign Free Trade Agreement (FTA) with high potential markets, we also need to explore new markets and diversify our products.

In addition, our industries must be cautiously optimistic and closely monitor global political situations and market trends. We need to reconsider our export tactics and adjust our export basket accordingly. In order to close the skill gap with competitors, we must simultaneously increase the overall productivity level of our workforce and adopt the best practices from around the globe. We must get ready to deal with the situation right away by bolstering our capabilities and intensifying diplomatic efforts for smooth graduation from LDC.