Post-LDC challenges: Bangladesh must take preparation to face them

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Staff Reporter :
Economists and experts have said that Bangladesh must take preparation from now to strengthen the country’s position in the international trades.

They suggested combined efforts to get advantages during the transitional period of the country’s LDC graduation after 2026.

They came up with the observation while speaking at a Knowledge Sharing Session on ‘13th Ministerial Conference of the WTO: What Stakes for Bangladesh?’ held at the National Press Club in the city on Thursday.

The Research and Policy Integration for Development (RAPID) with the support from the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office of the United Kingdom organized the programme.

The MC13 will be held from February 26-29 in Abu Dhabi. Securing an agreement on fisheries subsidies negotiation, embarking on border reforms and dysfunctional dispute settlement system would be the key issues in the conference, they said.

Dr Mustafizur Rahman, Distinguished Fellow of Centre for Policy Dialogue (CPD), said that Bangladesh needs to take preparation for some reforms as the country would graduate in November 2026.

“After the LDC graduation, Bangladesh would not get TRIPS weaver and the country would pay for the patent license to produce medicine.

So, it should go for reverse engineering which could allow the country to use the formula without paying any charge,” he added.

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Regarding fisheries subsidy, he said, “Bangladesh will face challenges on the issue after graduation as subsidy would allow for a developing country if its share of the global marine fish catch does not exceed 0.8 per cent but the share of Bangladesh crossed the threshold.”

The economist also said that in the upcoming MC Bangladesh would have to support the proposal of India, which proposed to allow subsidies within the exclusive economic zone.

Economic Affairs Adviser to the Prime Minister Dr Mashiur Rahman said, “After the LDC graduation Bangladesh would not be entitled for TRIPS weaver and the pharmaceutical sector would face pressure as the country made some delay in taking preparation to face the challenges.”

He said that Bangladesh still has no preparation to extract marine resources or a blue economy.

A separate ministry of a dedicated agency was needed to extract the marine resources, Mashiur said.

Sharifa Khan said that after the LDC graduation Bangladesh would enjoy duty free market access up to 2029 and after then the country would not net duty free market access in the European countries.

For availing duty free access the country would have to apply with the European Union and implement 32 international conventions including human rights and rules of law, she said.

She also said that Bangladesh should go for reverse engineering for using patent licenses without any fee in producing pharmaceuticals even after LDC graduation.