Speakers at a webinar on Monday laid emphasis on raising competitiveness by increasing productivity and reducing cost of production; improving business climate and trade facilitation system; upgrading hard and soft business infrastructure; encouraging linkage industries and establishment of special economic zones and active pharmaceutical ingredient (API) park for smooth and sustainable graduation of Bangladesh from LDC status by 2026.
They said, permanent graduation from the LDC status would be a recognition of real development of the country and the living standards of the people, though Bangladesh will face many challenges.
The country has developed significant trade-related capacity and adaptability, even withdrawal of GSP by the US. The predictions of disaster of the RMG sector during the phasing out of Multifibre Arrangement through Agreement on textiles and clothing, was not true as Bangladesh successfully steered clear of the Global financial crisis having little or no impact on its exports, Experts said at the virtual webinar on ‘‘LDC graduation: Challenges and Opportunities’’ organised by the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Bangladesh (ICAB) on Monday, 26 July 2021. Planning Minister M. A. Mannan attended the webinar as the chief guest while Sharifa Khan, Member (Secretary), Industry and Energy Division, Planning Commission, GoB was present as special guest. ICAB President Mahmudul Hasan Khusru FCA delivered welcome address while ICAB Member Council and Past President Md. Humayun Kabir FCA presided over the webinar as the session chairman. Shubhashish Bose, CEO of ICAB and former senior secretary, GoB presented the keynote paper. Mostafa Abid Khan, Member, Bangladesh Tariff Commission (BTC), Ali Hussain Akber Ali FCA, Chairman, BSRM; Syed Nasim Manzur, Managing Director, Apex; and Monzur Ahmed, Adviser, FBCCI were panel speakers of the webinar.
As chief guest Planning Minister MA Mannan, said, our LDC graduation will bring a mixed set of new realities and the country will lose a wide variety of preferences and privileges in global trade.
As the duty-free benefits under the World Trade Organization (WTO) regime will no longer effective, our exports will face new challenges, he said adding that tariffs on Bangladesh’s products in major international markets and our debt servicing liabilities will increase due to cessation of concessional finance into the country, he said.
We need to create a proper enabling business environment in the country, he suggested and said, the government has taken many initiatives including signing of preferential trade agreements with more countries to increase the overall competitiveness of the trade and commerce. ICAB President Mahmudul Hasan Khusru FCA said, both private and public sectors should prepare to face the post LDC graduation challenges.
He said, government is developing 100 special economic zones and more than two dozen Hi-Tech parks to meet demand of investors. Bangladesh Board of Investment also come forward to provide one stop services to the investors, he added and said, the country should opt for bilateral free trade deals to keep the export momentum.