Dhaka calls for the continuation of specific international support to LDCs for graduate countries
Foreign Minister Dr AK Abdul Momen called for maintaining LDC-specific flexibilities and exemptions available under WTO rules and provisions for least developed countries after graduation.
He made the call during his meeting with World Trade Organization (WTO) Director General Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala at his office in Geneva on Tuesday.
During the meeting, Dr Momen highlighted Bangladesh’s impressive development trajectory under the visionary leadership of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, which made the country eligible to graduate from the LDC category in 2026.
While expressing appreciation for the recent decision of the Council for TRIPS (Trade Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights) to allow LDCs to benefit from an exemption period until July 1, 2034 under Article 66: 1 of TRIPS, the Minister of Foreign Affairs expressed his concerns about the possible negative impacts on the development dynamics of the graduate country if they lose the international support measures (ISM).
Referring to the LDC group’s submission to the WTO for the extension of LDC-specific ISMs, Mr. Momen expressed hope for a favorable decision at the 12th Ministerial Conference to be held in November in Geneva.
The Foreign Minister also met Guy Ryder, Director General of the International Labor Organization (ILO) in their offices during the day.
He highlighted the gradual progress Bangladesh has made in the RMG sector during his meeting with Guy Ryder, which was duly recognized and appreciated by the CEO.
Calling Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina a ‘friend of workers’, Dr Momen highlighted the initiatives taken by the government of Bangladesh during the pandemic for the welfare and protection of garment workers.
He said no garment worker was made redundant during the Covid-19 pandemic thanks to various stimulus packages and initiatives from the government of Bangladesh.
Dr Momen is on a three-day visit to Geneva to participate in the Asia-Pacific Regional Review Meeting of LDCs, jointly convened by the Government of Bangladesh, UN-OHRLLS and UNESCAP at United Nations Headquarters in Geneva in preparation for the Fifth UN Conference on the Least Developed Countries (UNLDC-5).
He is expected to travel to London on Wednesday to attend a number of programs from where he will travel to the Netherlands.
He is due home on September 9.