BANGLADESH:Rights groups blast trade bias against LDCs

Saturday 14 June 2014

Date: 2 June 2014

Type: News

Source: IUNB Connect

Keywords: WTO, LDCs

Dhaka, June 2 (UNB)- Several rights groups on Monday urged the World Trade Organisation to ensure that products from the least developed countries like Bangladesh get duty and quota free concessions in developed markets.

The demand came at a human chain protest organized by 23 rights groups outside National Press Club.

The groups said WTO should oppose import liberalization and tax exemptions for the multi-national companies.

The human chain was told that the Trade Related Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS) waiver for the potential pharmaceutical industry in Bangladesh will expire by 2016.

But the emerging industry still needs the waiver to compete in the international market, speakers at the rally said.

They feared that this potential industry will collapse if the waiver is halted. That may lead to a hike in the prices of the essential and life saving medicines affecting the people.

Mustafa Kamal Akanda of COAST Trust, Aminur Rasul Babul of Unnayan Dhara Trust, Subol Das of Bangladesh Bhumihin Samity, Moinuddin Hawladar of Bangladesh Krishok Federation and Rezaul Karim Chowdhury of EquityBD spoke at the protest.

Moinuddin Hawladar said World Bank, IMF and WTO impose decisions on Bangladesh without considering the people’s interest.

Subol Das said the institutions like WTO are busy to protect the interest of the multi-national companies.

Aminur Rasul Babul said that the United States violates the Equal Treatment policy of WTO by stopping the GSP (Generalized System of Preferences) facilities for Bangladesh readymade garment industry.

Rezaul Karim Chowdhury said the LDCs are being forced to reduce subsidy on agriculture by the international financial institutions, while rich countries are paying huge subsidy to their farmers.

Mustafa Kamal Aakanda said Bangladesh can’t commercialize the essential services like education and health as that affects the country’s poor.###

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