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POST TIME: 26 May, 2019 11:16:59 PM
Many countries express interest about Bangladesh’s trade: Tipu
UNB, Dhaka

Many countries express interest about Bangladesh’s trade: Tipu

Commerce Minister Tipu Munshi has said that different member countries of the World Trade Organisation (WTO) have been expressing interest about Bangladeshi economy and trade.

"Recently, we've joined a review meeting of 65 WTO member countries in India. We observed that many countries were expressing interest about Bangladesh's recent economic progress," he said at the inaugural session of a three-day workshop of economic reporters at ERF Auditorium in the capital yesterday.

Economic Reporters' Forum (ERF) organised the workshop on 'Trade and WTO Rules' in association with WTO Cell of the Commerce Ministry with organisation's President Saiful Islam Dilal in the chair.

WTO Cell Director General Munir Chowdhury and Director Hafizur Rahman also addressed the workshop.

The commerce minister said the world is now more open for trade and Bangladesh has to tap more opportunities in global trade and business.

He said he will leave for Moscow on May 30 to sign a trade agreement with Russia and five countries of Central Asia.

He also informed that he recently visited Slavonia and Czech Republic and signed trade agreements with the two nations.

Munir Chowdhury

said after graduation from LDC, Bangladesh's biggest challenge will be capacity building for trade negotiation.

"Without capacity building there'll be no way for sustaining the global competition," he added.

He observed that the country's service sector, which has a big contribution to the GDP, has a big potential for more investment.

He said Bangladesh will continue to avail the waiver facility of the Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS) Rules for pharmaceutical products until 2033 and

for general products until 2021.

The WTO Cell chief said Bangladesh and India are going to develop six integrated customs duty checkpoints in the border areas to facilitate cross-border trade between the two neighbouring nations.

Hafizur Rahman said after graduation from LDC, Bangladesh will lose the GSP (generalised system of preferences) facility under the existing rule which will expire in 2027.

"But if the WTO rules are reviewed or amended, then there might be a chance for [continuation of] GSP

facility," he said.