WTO Cell, Ministry of Commerce and Economic Reporters’ Forum (ERF) jointly arranged a 2 day workshop on ‘WTO and Trade Policy′ in the ERF auditorium. Director General of WTO Cell MD. Kamal Hossain sunday (February 23) inaugurated the workshop. Around 90 economic journalists participated in the workshop.

Mohammad Mahbubur Rahman Patwary, director (deputy secretary) of the WTO Cell under the Ministry of Commerce (MoC) told, Bangladesh would soon start negotiation in the World Trade Organisation (WTO) to retain the existing trade preferences in major exporting countries after the country’s graduation from least developed country (LDC) status.

It would approach in collaboration with 10 other countries those are also in the process of graduation. We will negotiate in the WTO to continue with the trade benefits in the transition period of five to ten years, he added.

Md Kamal Hossain, Director General (additional secretary) of the WTO Cell spoke on the issue while Md Hafizur Rahman, director of the cell, gave a presentation on dispute settlement in the WTO.

Dr. Mostafa Abid Khan, member of Bangladesh Tariff Commission (BTC), spoke on different aspects of Free Trade Agreement (FTA).

Dr. Abid said bilateral FTA is not gaining popularity due to ‘fear of unknown’. Bangladesh is yet to sign any bilateral FTA with any country.

“The major focus of the country is to get market access and that’s why the intra-regional trade is not increasing,” he added.

He said Bangladesh needs to develop its expertise to negotiate on e-commerce, intellectual property rights and other technical issues in the WTO.

Md Hafizur Rahman said most of the disputes have been settled at the consultation stage in the WTO.

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