World trade needs to be consolidated with WTO help: Shahriar

State Minister for Foreign Affairs Md Shahriar Alam has said that international trade needs to be further

consolidated by establishing a sustainable and stable supply system in the countries included in the Asia Cooperation Dialogue (ACD) with the support of the World Trade Organization (WTO).

He stated this at the 17th ministerial level virtual meeting of the ACD titled ‘The New Normal and Safe and Healthy Tourism’ held on Thursday. The meeting was chaired by Turkish Foreign Minister Mevl t €avusoglu.

The state minister added that the development of domestic tourism could be one of the possible ways to deal with the damages caused by the COVID-19 epidemic.

He said that the total loss of this emerging tourism sector in Bangladesh in 2020 as a result of the COVID-19 epidemic is about Taka 180 billion. The government has allocated around Tk 3,688 crore in the

budget for the fiscal year 2020-21 to revive the tourism sector, he added.

He noted that Bangladesh’s traditional handicrafts, natural resources and religious and cultural sites have enriched the tourism industry. At the meeting, the state minister called on world leaders to come forward to resolve the Rohingya crisis.

Also present at the ACD meeting were the Foreign Ministers of Turkey, Cambodia, Bhutan, Nepal, Thailand, Afghanistan, Sri Lanka, Myanmar, Kuwait, Bahrain, Kazakhstan, Laos and Iran, and Malaysia,

Japan, Vietnam, China, Russia and the United Arab Emirates.

State ministers for Foreign Ministers of Malaysia, Japan, Vietnam, China, Russia, UAE and Indonesia also attended.