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Nat'l body proposed for better negotiation capability at WTO
FE Report

Speakers at a discussion Wednesday urged all concerned not to make the WTO Hong Kong ministerial meeting a political issue, rather work unitedly to make future negotiation fruitful and increase export volume to the developing and developed countries.
Echoing the views of the Federation of Bangladesh Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FBCCI) the discussants at the DCCI also called for formation of a national committee comprising different stakeholders for better negotiation capability.
"It is necessary for public-private partnership for a pro-active and result oriented negotiation," said president of the Dhaka Chamber of Commerce and Industry (DCCI) Sayeeful Islam at the round table discussion on WTO Talks in Hong Kong.
The discussion, organised by the DCCI, was attended by a host of experts from different public and private organisations and business leaders.
Sayeeful, who chaired the discussion, said it will be wise to work jointly and speedily and not to pass time debating on the outcome of the WTO Hong Kong meeting.
Poverty is the root cause of terrorism in the country, Sayeeful said adding the terrorism issue should be addressed effectively by expanding the economic activities.
"It is a paradox that the multilateral donor agencies create pressure on us for increasing efficiency in different sectors, but in the WTO meeting we did not get much as the developed countries termed us as more competitive and efficient," Sayeeful said.
Deputy Chief of the Bangladesh Tariff Commission (BTC) Mostafa Abid Khan said Bangladesh should emphasise on the issues like market access, service sector, aid for trade and technical assistance in the follow up meetings of the WTO.
Urging the government to list the exportable products under 97 per cent duty free access category Abid said in previous meetings of the WTO the developed countries did not make any commitment, but at the Hong Kong Ministerial they some promises. It is an achievement for the LDCs including Bangladesh, he added.
Deputy Director (DD) of the WTO Cell of the Ministry of Commerce (MoC) Sharifa Khan said the entire issue should be dealt with impartially and without any political bias.
"If we pass much time in discussion we may come back empty handed from the follow-up meetings," she said urging all the stakeholders concerned to find out mechanism for an effective negotiation.