Exporters to benefit from Doha Round closure
The successful conclusion of the Doha Development Agenda, the current round of the world trade talks, will open up further opportunities for Bangladeshi exporters, WTO Director General Roberto Azevedo said.
“Bangladesh has always been a strong supporter of the multilateral trading system. And it will continue to be its key player by maintaining and developing the leadership that has been so evident and so important in recent times,” he said.
A number of the Bali decisions for least developed countries will also benefit a country like Bangladesh. One of them is the duty-free and quota-free market access decision for LDCs, he said.
Azevedo was addressing businesses at Sonargaon Hotel in the capital on Tuesday. He left Dhaka yesterday after a two-day visit.
Certainly, there is scope for improvements to further integrate LDCs in global trade, and Bali has seen some seeds for fruition, according to his speech posted on WTO website.
“My experience in the negotiations on this issue has shown that the implementation of duty-free access is not straightforward. Progress is possible, but will very much depend on the level of ambition and the balance that can be struck taking into account the sensitivities surrounding the issue.”
Bali also delivered on a market access issue which had not yet been fully or properly addressed in the World Trade Organisation -- preferential rules of origin for products from LDCs.
The Bali decision on preferential rules of origin in fact responded to a long-standing demand from the LDCs to make preferential rules of origin simple and flexible. The Bali decision, therefore, will further help members reform their individual rules of origin for LDCs.
Bangladesh is well placed to take a leadership position on this issue among LDCs. "And I encourage you to remain proactive on this matter."
Bangladesh's substantive input and continued active engagement can help the LDC Group realise the full potential from the Bali package and the Doha Development Agenda, he said.
Bangladesh has an enlightened and vibrant private sector and business community, which keeps track of developments in the multilateral trading system.
"You have a strong manufacturing capacity and have shown the drive to diversify your export items beyond the current main item -- apparels.”
In Bali, ministers instructed the WTO members to prepare, by December, a clearly defined work programme to conclude, once and for all, the Doha Develop-ment Agenda. Negotiations on the Doha agenda have been running since 2001.
The ninth WTO Ministerial Conference was held at Indonesian resort city Bali in December last year.