FE Today Logo

Post-LDC graduation scenario

Thrust on good governance for biz-friendly climate

FE REPORT | February 01, 2024 00:00:00

Timely reforms and good governance are imperative to create a business-friendly environment with a view to preparing the country for post-LDC graduation scenario.

M Tofazzel Hossain Miah, principal secretary to the prime minister, said this at a workshop on Wednesday.

He also called for increased investment in human resources in the ready-made garment sector to reduce the existing gap in managerial skills.

Mr Tofazzel was addressing 'Validation Workshop on Final Draft Study Reports on Market Access, Comparative Advantage and Export Diversification, and Upscaling the RMG Sector' in the NEC Conference Room.

Senior commerce secretary Tapan Kanti Ghosh and Bangladesh Textile Mills Association president Mohammad Ali Khokon attended it as special guests.

ERD secretary Mohammad Shahriar Kader Siddiky chaired the workshop where additional secretary and SSGP project director Farid Aziz, among others, spoke.

Support to Sustainable Graduation Project (SSGP) of the Economic Relations Division (ERD) hosted the event to review major findings of two studies to assess the impact of LDC graduation and formulate relevant strategies accordingly.

The Policy Research Institute (PRI) conducted the study on 'Market Access, Comparative Advantage and Export Diversification' and the Research and Policy Integration for Development (RAPID) another study styled 'Upscaling the RMG Sector'.

As the government attaches highest priority to ensure a smooth and sustainable LDC graduation of the country, several in-depth sectoral studies are being conducted by the SSGP, reads a press release.

The studies are being done under the guidance of the National Committee on LDC Graduation to assess the impact of LDC graduation and to formulate the relevant strategies accordingly.

Noting huge scope for diversification within RMG, Mr Tofazzel asked the RMG owners to focus more on diversification of their products.

At the same time, he also placed emphasis on exploring new markets for local apparels.

Meanwhile, Mr Tapan said Bangladesh needed to explore an alternative to cash incentives to prepare the country's exporters for the post-LDC graduation scenario.

Mr Khokon said Bangladeshi apparel manufacturers can move towards multi-fibre arena through ensuring duty-free access of all fibers.

ERD secretary Siddiky said the private sector must work in close collaboration with the academic institutions to meet the gap of managerial skills in the RMG sector.

RAPID chairman and PRI research director Dr Mohammad Abdur Razzaque presented two keynotes, highlighting the major findings of the studies.

On the findings of the 'Upscaling the RMG Sector' study, he said although the global demand for man-made fibre (MMF) and blended items increased faster than cotton products, Bangladesh's cotton export growth remained higher than its MMF exports.

The study called for adopting a dual-track strategy with a view to consolidating Bangladesh's position in the cotton apparel market while expanding its share in the MMF segment.

It also underscored the need for devising a fibre-security strategy, ensuring duty-free access of all fibres and establishing a dedicated low-cost investment fund to support MMF investments.

On the findings of the 'Market Access, Comparative Advantage and Export Diversification' study, Dr Razzaque called for prompt and effective implementation of the National Tariff Policy.

Former ERD senior secretary and SSGP adviser Sharifa Khan, Export Promotion Bureau vice-chairman AHM Ahsan, Duty Exemption and Drawback Office (DEDO) director general Mohammad Belal Hossain Chowdhury, and BGMEA director Abdullah Hil Rakib spoke as panellists.

Ms Sharifa emphasised integrating local manufacturers with the global value chain by ensuring international compliance of local products.

Mr Ahsan said exporters needed to invest in research and development as well as overseas marketing to expand their market.

Officials from ERD, ministries and agencies concerned and representatives from the private sector and civil society organisations also joined the workshop.

[email protected]

Share if you like