Better negotiating skills, export diversification, improved competitiveness and institutional capacity building are the keys to success once Bangladesh gains United Nations developing country status, speakers said at the conference. ‘a webinar yesterday.
Entitled “LDC Graduation of Bangladesh: Journey to Economic Excellence”, the event was organized by the Dhaka Chamber of Commerce and Industry (DCCI).
“Now is the right time to increase trade and investment as well as to adopt long-term strategic planning and their effective implementation to strengthen Bangladesh’s position,” said DCCI President Rizwan Rahman in his opening speech.
“Bangladesh’s identity as a developing country in the international arena will maintain the country’s competitiveness, which will take us to greater heights and help improve exports and FDI (foreign direct investment),” he said. -he declares.
He called for the development of a policy to attract FDI, increase the investment / GDP ratio and the tax / GDP ratio.
In addition, the focus should be on regional connectivity, including signing preferential and free trade agreements, especially with countries with which there is a trade imbalance, Rahman said.
Skills development, effective policy adoption, reforms and implementation The use of technologies focused on the Fourth Industrial Revolution (4IR), research bringing together international experts and academics, and joint public-private efforts will play a central role in maintain competitiveness, experts suggested.
“The graduation of LDCs for Bangladesh is an important step. We have to focus mainly on how to become competitive. The role of government is to remove barriers, ”the Prime Minister’s Principal Secretary, Dr Ahmad Kaikaus, said as the main guest.
“The more competitive the country, the lower the cost of financing … we must seek to explore regional and Asian markets,” he said.
He cited China as an example, stressing that it dominated world trade and therefore there was no reason to be afraid of withdrawing the status of a less developing country.
The entrepreneurial capacity of Bangladeshis is their strength to overcome all obstacles, he said.
“We have to think about how we can move forward … We really have to prepare,” Kaikaus added.
“According to the Eighth Five-Year Plan, the role of the private sector is around 81%. The exit from LDCs will increase our own resources and increase the confidence of our entrepreneurs,” said Fatima Yasmin, secretary of the Ministry’s Economic Relations Division. finances.
“The graduation of LDCs may pose some challenges, but the government is taking the necessary preparations. It is true that we could lose duty-free, quota-free access, special waiver and preferential treatment,” she said. declared as a special guest.
“But the EU (European Union) will give us preferences until 2029. In addition, we need to make the most of the existing advantages over the next 5 years,” she said.
“In addition, after graduation, the government plans to negotiate with the WTO (World Trade Organization) to give us preferences for the next 12 years after 2026. For the signing of ATP and the ALE, the government is in talks with 11 countries, ”Yasmin said.
“To become competitive after graduation from LDCs, Bangladesh needs to strengthen its backlink industry,” said another special guest, Mr Jashim Uddin, president of the Bangladesh Federation of Chambers of Commerce and Industry. .
“The knitting and weaving sector needs added value to attract local and foreign investment,” he said, calling for faster implementation of special economic zones.
He also stressed the importance of involving the private sector in creating an enforceable policy framework.
“The LDC graduation is an opportunity for Bangladesh. Apparently we might think of losing some advantages, but in the long run we will benefit a lot,” said Nihad Kabir, president of the Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce and Industry. Dhaka industry.
“Many industries are still coming to Bangladesh … Yes, there will be challenges, but if the government and the private sector can work hand in hand, Bangladesh can gain a lot,” he said. she declared.
Taufiqur Rahman, Head of the LDC Unit, Development Division, WTO, and Prof (ret) Muinul Islam from the Department of Economics, Chittagong University, also spoke.