Industry Desk: Foreign Minister Dr AK Abdul Momen has called for continuation of LDC-specific flexibilities and exemptions available under the WTO rules and provisions for the least developed countries after graduation.
He made the call during his meeting with the Director General of the World Trade Organization (WTO) Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala at her office in Geneva on Tuesday.
At the meeting, Dr Momen highlighted Bangladesh’s impressive development trajectory under the visionary leadership of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina that has enabled the country to be eligible for graduation from the LDC category in 2026.
While conveying satisfaction for the TRIPS (Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights) Council’s recent decision to allow the LDCs with exemption period until 01 July 2034 under TRIPS Article 66.1, the foreign minister expressed concerns for possible negative impacts on the development momentum of the graduated countries if they lose the international support measures (ISMs).
Referring to LDC group’s submission in the WTO for extension of LDC-specific ISMs, Dr Momen expressed hope for a favourable decision in the upcoming 12th Ministerial Conference to be held in November in Geneva.
The foreign minister also held a meeting with Guy Ryder, Director General of International Labour Organization (ILO) at their offices during the day.
He highlighted the incremental progresses that Bangladesh has made in the RMG sector during his meeting with Guy Ryder which was duly recognized and appreciated by the DG.
Terming Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina as the “friend of workers”, Dr Momen emphasized on the initiatives taken by the government of Bangladesh during the pandemic for thewelfare and protection of the garment workers.
He said no garment worker was terminated during Covid-19 pandemic thanks to different stimulus packages and initiatives of the Government of Bangladesh.
Dr Momen is on a three-day visit in Geneva to participate in the Asia-Pacific Regional Review Meeting of the LDCs, convened jointly by the Government of Bangladesh, UN-OHRLLS and UNESCAP at the UN Headquarters in Geneva in preparation for the Fifth UN Conference on the Least Developed Countries (UNLDC-5).
He is scheduled to reach London on Wednesday to attend a number of programmes from where he will travel to the Netherlands. He is scheduled to return home on September 9.
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