Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina said the least developed countries (LDCs) must focus on enhancing their trade-related infrastructure, building productive capacity and utilizing preferential market access to be competitive in the global market.
“For achieving these objectives, LDCs require support and investment for connectivity, human capital, trade finance and technology transfer”, she said.
The premier made this remark while co-chairing the high-level thematic round table “Enhancing participation of least developed countries in international trade and regional integration” at the 5th United Nations Conference on LDCs at Qatar National Convention Centre (QNCC).
She said trade will continue to remain a key driver of development for graduating and graduated LDCs.
Sheikh Hasina said the graduating LDCs need extension of LDC-specific support measures, such as preferential market access and the TRIPS waiver for a certain period after graduation.
Mentioning that the LDC group in WTO has already placed its proposals on these issues, she said, “Those proposals should be seriously considered by the international community, especially given the challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic and the war in Ukraine”.
The prime minister said it is clear that LDCs need to re-double their efforts to achieve the targets that they have set for themselves in the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and in the Doha Program of Action.
This requires concerted efforts at national, regional, and global levels, she said.
“Our approach and commitments should be pragmatic, realistic, and well-designed to enhance LDCs’ productive capacity,” she said.
She added: “I hope our deliberations will positively contribute towards achieving targets we have set for ourselves in the Doha Program of Action”.
Focusing on Bangladesh, Sheikh Hasina said her government has placed significant emphasis on improving national and cross-border connectivity by constructing a multimodal transport system.
“It will reduce costs, enhance efficiency, and promote regional and international trade”, she said.
She said that they are also implementing various initiatives aimed at developing skills, increasing productivity, improving intellectual property regime, and enhancing their competitiveness.
She also said her government’s policy is to engage the private sector to participate in national development.
“Working hand in hand, we have so far brought the country to the present stage of LDC graduation, and our near-term priority is to ensure smooth and sustainable graduation”, the premier continued.
President of the Republic of Burundi Évariste Ndayishimiye was another co-chair of the high-level event.
Heads of state and government, and ministers from different countries, representatives of observers, relevant entities of the United Nations system and other accredited intergovernmental organizations, among others, participated in the event.
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