'Opportunity created for Bangladesh to get extension of trade benefits after graduation'
An opportunity has been created for Bangladesh to get an extension of trade benefits granted to the least-developed countries (LDCs) after the country's graduation to a developing country in 2026, said Senior Commerce Secretary Tapan Kanti Ghosh today.
He made the remarks at a press conference at his secretariat office in Dhaka.
The commerce ministry organised the briefing to share the outcome of the recently concluded conference of the global trade body in Geneva.
In absence of Commerce Minister Tipu Munshi, who has been infected with Covid-19 for the second time, Ghosh briefed reporters.
Bangladesh, along with other LDCs, has been lobbying for the last two years seeking an extension of the trade benefits for six or nine years for the graduating LDCs.
Bangladesh and other graduating LDCs might not have received a clear-cut extension of the current duty-free trade benefit at the conference, but their demand was recognised in the WTO declaration.
The declaration acknowledged the particular challenges that graduation presents, including the loss of trade-related international support measures, as they leave the category of the LDCs.
"We recognise the role that certain measures in the WTO can play in facilitating the smooth and sustainable transition for these members after graduation from the LDC category," said the declaration.
As a result, Bangladesh's opportunity to enjoy the LDC-related trade benefit even after graduation has brightened.
"Further negotiation is needed to achieve the trade benefit extension after graduation," Ghosh said today.
The WTO declaration did not specify how long the benefit would be granted.
A decision on trade benefit extension for the graduating LDCs may come in the next Ministerial Conference to be held in December next year.