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Bangladesh - November 19, 2021

Pursue strategic trade, investment policies for LDC graduation: CPD

Industry Desk: Centre for Policy Dialogue (CPD) has urged the government to pursue strategic trade and investment policies to ensure a sustainable LDC graduation.
The social think-tank body made the recommendation during a virtual dialogue on Bangladesh’s role, opportunities, and prospects in the upcoming 12th World Trade Organization Ministerial Conference (WTO-MC12).
CPD Chairman Professor Rehman Sobhan chaired the session titled “Upcoming MC12: Bangladesh’s Expectations and Possible Stance.”
“The key is to prioritise the domestic homework in areas of reforms, strengthening of institutions, infrastructure and capacity building, technological transformation and skills enhancement and human capacity building to ensure the transition from preference-driven competitiveness to skills and productivity-driven competitiveness,” reads a CPD press release.
What the country does today will determine whether its graduation will be smooth, with momentum, and is sustainable and irreversible, added the release. Of the recommendations made by CPD include:
Gear Bangladesh’s strategies from preference-driven competitiveness to productivity and skills-driven competitiveness Restructure incentives towards technology upgrading and skills formation Ensure triangulation of trade, investment, and transport connectivities with proper logistics and trade facilitation towards strengthening development of regional value chains and production networks, to take advantage of the “Asian Century” Pursue strategic trade and investment policies towards sustainable LDC Graduation Put in place a negotiating cell, with adequate human and financial resources and backed by the needed analytical capacities, to design Bangladesh’s offensive and defensive interests and conduct the complex negotiations. Negotiate with trading partners that matter, to get into CEPA type RTAs, to attract efficiency-seeking FDI, targeting the regional markets Commerce Minister Tipu Munshi attended the online event as the chief guest while Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA) President Faruque Hassan spoke as the special guest.
Director General of the WTO Cell of the commerce ministry Md Hafizur Rahman, UNDP Country Economist (Bangladesh) Dr Nazneen Ahmed, Bangladesh Trade and Tariff Commission (BTTC) former member Dr Mostafa Abid Khan also attended the dialogue.
Syed Manzur Elahi, treasurer, CPD Board of Trustees, and former adviser to a caretaker government, moderated the dialogue.
Professor Mustafizur Rahman, a distinguished fellow of CPD, made the keynote presentation.
CPD Research Director Dr Khondaker Golam Moazzem, and FES Bangladesh Office Programme Coordinator Shadhan Kumar Das delivered the welcome remarks.

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