While Bangladesh is graduating from LDC, the first and foremost priority for Bangladesh in the upcoming the 12th Ministerial Conference of the WTO should be on the extension of the transition period for 12 years, said BGMEA president Faruque Hassan.
“The LDC group has made a submission to the WTO for extending the timeline for 12 years. A consensus on this proposal will not only help us to sustain the growth momentum but also crucial to build internal capacity,” he said.
He made the remarks while speaking at a webinar on “Upcoming MC 12: Bangladesh’s Expectations and Possible Stance” organized by the Centre for Policy Dialogue (CPD) on Thursday.
CPD Chairman Professor Rehman Sobhan presided over the session while Syed Manzur Elahi, Treasurer of the CPD Board of Trustees, Md. Hafizur Rahman, Director General, WTO Cell, Ministry of Commerce, Dr. Nazneen Ahmed, Country Economist, UNDP, Dr Mostafa Abid Khan, former Member, Bangladesh Trade and Tariff Commission, and Dr. Khondaker Golam Moazzem, Research Director, CPD attended as panelists. Professor Mustafizur Rahman, Distinguished Fellow, CPD was the keynote speaker.
In his speech Faruque Hassan said trade competitiveness is going to be crucial in the upcoming days, especially for the graduating LDCs like Bangladesh.
“We have to make use of support programs like UNCDF, LDCF, UN technology bank for LDCs etc. We need to make most use of these options.”
Laying emphasis on Free Trade Agreement (FTA) he said, “While we keep engaging through multilateral trade system, given the rise in regional and bilateral FTAs, it will be very difficult for Bangladesh to cope up with competitors if we cannot make our ways through to that direction.”
Along with exploring potential and emerging markets, in the upcoming days, Bangladesh will have to focus on intra-regional trade block, he added.
The BGMEA President also stressed the need for capacity building for trade negotiation.
“We have to work on our internal capacity building as far as trade negotiation and economic diplomacy is concerned.”