‘Bangladesh to continue its engagement in WTO forum’

Published : 28 Nov 2021 08:53 PM

Director General of the WTO Cell under the Ministry of Commerce Md Hafizur Rahman today said that Bangladesh would continue its engagement and discussions in various forum of WTO although its 12th ministerial conference (MC12) has been postponed after an outbreak of a particularly transmissible strain of the COVID-19.

"Efforts will be there from our side so that we can remain fully prepared whenever the conference takes place at a suitable time," he told to BSS on Saturday.

The World Trade Organisation (WTO) has postponed its ministerial conference indefinitely after a transmissible strain of the COVID-19 virus forced several governments to impose travel restrictions.

 The conference, which was to begin from November 30 and end on December 3 in Geneva, was to hold negotiations among nations on the contentious issues of cut in subsidies on fisheries, food security and TRIPS waiver for Covid vaccines. All these issues are crucial for countries such as Bangladesh.

The decision was taken by the general council of the WTO at an emergency meeting called by chair Dacio Castillo late Friday.

WTO Director-General Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala said the travel constraints meant that many ministers and senior delegates would not be able to participate in face-to-face negotiations at the conference. This would render participation on an equal basis impossible.