“Bengal Tiger is on the move”, is the emphatic characterization on Bangladesh’s performance on growth, trade and development by WTO Ambassador of South Africa Faizel Ismail – designated discussant on fourth Trade Policy Review (TPR) of Bangladesh held in Geneva on 15 October 2012. Commerce Secretary Mr. Md. Ghulam Hussain is leading a fifteen members delegation to the WTO, Geneva. H.E. Mr. Eduardo Munoz Gomez, Permanent Representative of Colombia current Chairperson of Trade Policy Review Body (TPRB) in WTO chaired the meeting.
Commerce Secretary Mr. Hussain in his presentations highlighted the important elements of the reforms on trade and economic policies of Bangladesh during the review period, 2006-2012. He particularly highlighted how the present government positioned the trade and economic policies of Bangladesh in line with the vision 2021 to transform the country into a middle income. Despite the global financial crisis, Bangladesh through its prudent policy interventions commendably withstand the onslots and maintained average growth above 6 percent, Hussain added.
Commerce Secretary Mr. Hussain urged the developed countries, which did not yet provide Quota Free market access (DFQF), to implement the decision taken in Hong Kong to LDCs. He also urged the development countries and financial institute to provide necessary technical and financial support to Bangladesh towards this endeavours.
Ambassadors and representatives of 26 countries including USA, EU, Canada, China, Norway, India, Australia, Brazil, Nepal, Lesotho, Tunisia, Turkey, Morocco, Philippines, Zimbabwe, and Barbados actively participated in the discussion while profusely commending the progress made by Bangladesh and observed that Bangladesh could be lesson for other countries. As discussant, Ambassador Faizel focused his discussion on the overall policy reforms and the performance of Bangladesh during the review period. He highly applauded the macroeconomic management to combat the challenges and expressed his confidence that Bangladesh would do better in coming days, provided Bangladesh addresses the infrastructural constraints.
During the discussion, delegates highly appreciated the reform initiatives taken by Bangladesh which includes rationalization of tariff, tax reforms, customs modernization, simplification of trade related procedures, and formulation of new laws and expressed their appreciation to the Bangladesh delegation led by the Commerce Secretary. They also commended Bangladesh constructive and proactive role as the LDC Group coordinator in 2007 and 2011.
Trade policy review mechanism is one of the vital instruments for ensuring transparency and predictability in the exercise of county’s trade policy regime in line with the multilateral trading system held in every six years cycle in case of least developed countries (LDCs) like Bangladesh. This exercise created opportunity for Bangladesh to understand better WTO members’ views on country’s trade policy. This process also help in making the trade policy more consistent and integrated with the multilateral trading system.
Trade policy meeting will be concluded on 17 October 2012.