Bangladesh should pursue with the World Trade Organization (WTO) to be included in the list of net food-importing developing countries after LDC graduation to continue providing subsidies on agriculture exports, speakers said at a seminar in the capital on Sunday.
At the same time, the country should also develop export assistance schemes in compliance with WTO provisions, they said.
Support to Sustainable Graduation Project (SSGP) of the Economic Relations Division (ERD) and the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) financed Bangladesh Trade Facilitation project jointly organized the seminar titled ‘Impacts of LDC Graduation on the Agriculture Sector and the Way Forward’.
Minister of Agriculture Dr. Muhammad Abdur Razzaque, MP graced the occasion as chief guest. State Minister of Planning Dr. Shamsul Alam was present as special guest. ERD Secretary Sharifa Khan chaired the event.
Speaking on the occasion, Agriculture Minister Dr. Muhammad Abdur Razzaque said that Bangladesh can mitigate the impact of LDC graduation through enhancing the production and quality of its agricultural products.
State Minister for Planning Dr. Shamsul Alam said the withdrawal of LDC specific facilities after LDC Graduation will create the compulsion for enhancing our internal capacities. ERD Secretary Sharifa Khan, in her speech, put emphasis on policy continuity for maintaining the growth in agricultural sector. She also informed that the government is pursuing with WTO to be included in the list of net food-importing developing countries after LDC graduation.
Welcoming the participants to the seminar Farid Aziz, Additional Secretary of ERD informed that the government has taken various measures to ensure a smooth and sustainable transition from LDC status.
Chairman of Research and Policy Integration for Development (RAPID) Dr. Mohammad A. Razzaque presented the keynote paper on the findings of the USDA financed study titled "Implications of LDC Graduation for Bangladesh's Agricultural Exports: Issues and Policy Options."
Former Member of Bangladesh Trade and Tariff Commission (BTTC) Dr. Mostafa Abid Khan delivered a presentation on “Bangladesh’s Obligation Under WTO Agreement on Agriculture: Before and After Graduation from LDC Status”.
Additional Secretary of the Ministry of Fisheries & Livestock Md. Tofazzel Hossain, Director of the Department of Agricultural Extension Md. Tajul Islam Patwary, Political and Economic Counselor of the U.S. Embassy in Dhaka Scott Brandon and Director of PRAN-RFL Group Ms. Uzma Chowdhury spoke as panelsists.