Dhaka, Bangladesh
Dhaka to sign trade deal with Moscow soon: Tipu Munshi

Dhaka to sign trade deal with Moscow soon: Tipu Munshi

News Report Commerce Minister Tipu Munshi has said that different member countries of the World Trade Organisation (WTO) have been expressing interest about Bangladeshi economy and trade. "Recently, we've joined a review meeting of 65 WTO member countries in India. We observed that many countries were expressing interest about Bangladesh's recent economic progress," he said at the inaugural session of a three-day workshop of economic reporters at ERF Auditorium in the city. Economic Reporters' Forum (ERF) organised the workshop on 'Trade and WTO Rules' in association with WTO Cell of the Commerce Ministry with organisation's President Saiful Islam Dilal in the chair. WTO Cell Director General Munir Chowdhury and Director Hafizur Rahman also addressed the workshop. The commerce minister said the world is now more open for trade and Bangladesh has to tap more opportunities in global trade and business. He said he will leave for Moscow on May 30 to sign a trade agreement with Russia and five countries of Central Asia. He also informed that he recently visited Slavonia and Czech Republic and signed trade agreements with the two nations. Munir Chowdhury said after graduation from LDC, Bangladesh's biggest challenge will be capacity building for trade negotiation. "Without capacity building there'll be no way for sustaining the global competition," he added. He observed that the country's service sector, which has a big contribution to the GDP, has a big potential for more investment. He said Bangladesh will continue to avail the waiver facility of the Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS) Rules for pharmaceutical products until 2033 and for general products until 2021. The WTO Cell chief said Bangladesh and India are going to develop six integrated customs duty checkpoints in the border areas to facilitate cross-border trade between the two neighbouring nations. Hafizur Rahman said after graduation from LDC, Bangladesh will lose the GSP (generalised system of preferences) facility under the existing rule which will expire in 2027. "But if the WTO rules are reviewed or amended, then there might be a chance for [continuation of] GSP facility," he said. Meanwhile, Bangladesh and Czech Republic have signed trade promotion and economic cooperation agreement to strengthen bilateral trade and economic activities through forming a joint commission. Commerce Minister Tipu Munshi and Czech Republic's Industries and Commerce Minister Karel Havlicek penned the agreement in ?Prague, said a ministry release recently. As member of European Countries, Czech Republic has a good economic relation with Bangladesh and turnover of bilateral trade in last fiscal exceeded $ 500 million, and trade was in favor of Bangladesh. At a bilateral meeting before the signing ceremony, the Czech Republic minister lauded the leadership of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, and expressed his countries keenness to increase cooperation in the fields of power generation, education and training, ICT, jute and other sectors. Highlighting Bangladesh's attractive features for foreign direct investment (FDI), Tipu Munshi said the country is most suitable place for investment in the South Asia. He invited the businessmen of Czech Republic to come forward with investment in Bangladesh. "You (businessmen) would be benefitted through investing in Bangladesh due to duty-free export facilities in EU, skilled manpower, local market and other facilities," the minister said. The commerce minister also met with Czech chamber of commerce president Vladimir Dlouhy. Before arriving in Czech Republic, he also visited Slovenia and attended the programmes of World Bee Day. There he visited Port of Koper and witnessed different aspects of the port for export and import. He also held a meeting with Slovenian Agriculture, Forest and Food Minister Aleksandra Pivec.

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