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BSS
  06 Sep 2021, 21:23

RAPID-FES Expert Group Webinar held

DHAKA, Sep 6, 2021 (BSS) - Research and Policy Integration for Development (RAPID), in collaboration with Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung (FES) Bangladesh, organised a webinar today titled ‘‘Geoeconomics in the Aftermath of the Covid-19 Pandemic: Trade and Development Perspectives from Bangladesh’’.

State Minister of Planning Dr Shamsul Alam attended the event as the chief guest while experts from the government, academia, industry, and media joined the event as panel discussants.

Dr Mustafizur Rahman, Distinguished fellow of Center for Policy Dialogue (CPD), moderated the webinar, said a press release.

At the outset of the webinar, Dr M Abu Eusuf, Executive Director of RAPID and Professor of Dhaka University, and Mr Felix Kolbitz, Resident Representative of FES Bangladesh, delivered their welcome remarks.

RAPID Chairman Dr Mohammad Abdur Razzaque, eminent economist and international trade expert, presented the keynote paper.

Speaking on the occasion, Dr Shamsul Alam stated that the government is now working closely not only to diversify exports but also to diversify investments.

He also added that Bangladesh should proactively engage with the WTO to address any resultant implications of geoeconomics and the forthcoming LDC graduation.

Dr Alam highlighted the current policy documents which are tuned to address the adverse implication of the geoeconomics. “So far, the country has taken a cautious approach without falling into the powerplay of any regional or global powers,” he added.

Dr Razzaque provided a succinct review of emerging developments in geoeconomics and shed light on the resultant implications for
Bangladesh.

He also put forward several policy options that can be used in dealing with the geoeconomics issues from the trade and development perspective of Bangladesh.

Dr Razzaque highlighted that world trade and other major forces of globalisation are now passing through a turbulent time as the rise of geoeconomics—the use of various economic and trade policy instruments by global and regional economic powers to promote their national interests and geopolitical influence— undermines the rules-based multilateral trading system led by the World Trade Organization (WTO).

Discussant Dr Nazneen Ahmed, country economist of UNDP Bangladesh, urged that it is very important to set the right priorities while engaging with the development partners.

“Setting the correct priorities can greatly help not only for a sustainable LDC graduation but also aid in meeting the sustainable development goals of leaving no one behind,” the economist noted.

Mr Faiyaz Murshid Kazi, Director General, (West Europe & EU wing), Ministry of Foreign Affairs, highlighted that Bangladesh is now adopting a multifront approach and exploring different frontiers to enhance regional connectivity.

Mohammad Jahirul Quayum, Deputy Secretary, Export & LDC Graduation Wing, Ministry of Commerce, brought in the issue of looking at the welfare of the consumers in the post-LDC period.

He also urged that there should be an integration of efforts of the public sector, private sector, and academia.

Ms Ferdaus Ara Begum, Chief Executive Officer, BUILD, recommended that, there should be in-depth study and necessary policy action to see why the pledged investments by China and India are not being materialised.

She also suggested that Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Nepal (BBIN) initiative should be seriously considered to plug Bangladesh into the regional connectivity.

Dr Shahab Enam Khan, Professor of International Relations at Jahangirnagar University, resonated the importance of taking a cautious approach in engaging with the regional and global powers.

Dr Rudabeh Shahid, a Postdoctoral Research Fellow at the University of York, opined that Bangladesh should engage with Bhutan and Nepal to bring in hydroelectricity to the country.

Dr Mahfuz Kabir, Research Director at Bangladesh Institute of International and Strategic Studies (BIISS), urged that Bangladesh should act fast to benefit from the untapped opportunities in the markets of China and India.

Dr Mustafizur Rahman, Distinguished fellow of Center for Policy Dialogue (CPD), concluded the webinar with a vote of thanks.

 

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