BSS-18 Policies, action needed for country’s safe graduation from LDC group

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ZCZC

BSS-18

ICCB-LDC-GRADUATION

Policies, action needed for country’s safe graduation from LDC group

DHAKA, June 30, 2018 (BSS)-Bangladesh needs to formulate effective strategies to face the challenges it is going to face because of its graduation from LDC group as it will gradually lose preferential trade opportunities, said International Chamber of Commerce Bangladesh (ICCB).

“The country is now at an important juncture and the right policies and timely action are needed in order to avoid falling into the ‘middle-income trap where a number of countries are stuck in the lower-middle income status and are unable to move up,” said ICCB President Mahbubur Rahman while presenting the Executive Board Report at the 23rd ICC Bangladesh Annual Council here today.

Bangladesh should now be prepared for the probable impact of graduation, he said, adding that the probable impact of Bangladesh’s loss of preferential facilities in major export destinations will be felt on the export, sustainable GDP growth and other socio-economic indicators.

“Bangladesh is now enjoying preferential access of varying degrees offered by more than 40 countries. Economists predict that the country is likely to lose about $2.7 billion in export earnings every year once it graduates from the LDC bracket,” he said in the report.

In order to achieve 8 percent plus growth, political stability, financial sector reform, access to reliable and affordable power, efficient infrastructure, export diversification and enforcement of laws to reduce cost of doing business are needed, said Rahman.

However, Bangladesh is faced with worst man-made disaster, he said, adding that as of February 2018, the United Nations estimates that almost one million Rohingya refugees have fled Myanmar’s violent campaign of ethnic cleansing. Bangladesh had no option but to give shelter to Rohingyas by opening its border and hosting them, he said.

He said the influx of Rohingya refugees has created a pressure for the economy and overall security of Bangladesh. 6,000 acres of land has already been deforested by the Rohingya camps involving a cost equivalent to Taka 741.31 crore or $86.67 million.

The council adopted the Executive Board Report and Audited Financial Statements of ICCB for the year 2017 and announced the New Executive Board of ICC Bangladesh for the period of April 2018 to March 2020.

BSS/PR/TAN/MMA/1818hrs