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Bangladesh to regain GSP facility to US by April, hopes Commerce Minister

Commerce minister Tofail Ahmed poses for a photograph with the leaders of Dhaka Chamber of Commerce and Industry at the secretariat in the capital on Sunday. — New Age photo

Commerce minister Tofail Ahmed poses for a photograph with the leaders of Dhaka Chamber of Commerce and Industry at the secretariat in the capital on Sunday. — New Age photo

Expressing the hope that Bangladesh will regain the GSP facility to US market by next April, commerce minister Tofail Ahmed on Sunday said the government was working sincerely to fulfil the conditions of regaining the facility.

‘We are working sincerely to fulfil the conditions so that GSP facility could be regained in the US market. I hope, the GSP facility is likely to be resumed by April this year,’ he told a meeting with a DCCI delegation.

The board of directors of Dhaka Chamber of Commerce and Industry, led by its president Mohammad Shahjahan Khan, met the commerce minister at the secretariat.

Tofail said the commerce ministry would formulate an action plan to get advantages from WTO’s Bali package announced recently.
He said, ‘Bangladesh’s export target has been achieved and it is 3 per cent higher than the expected level in the last six months.’
The commerce minister stressed strengthening relations between the government and the private sector, and ensuring political stability for promoting trade and commerce.

He said the government would frequently sit with the private sector and business community aiming to ensure a stable local market.
‘Restoring confidence of the business community is one of the main challenges for the present government.’

Urging all political parties to give business top priority for the sake of economic progress, he also stressed product diversification as well as market diversification to increase export.

Tofail also put emphasis on effective regional connectivity of Bangladesh-China-India-Myanmar.

DCCI president Shahjahan Khan said political stability is essential to bring back confidence in the business community, which was affected by political turmoil and violence over the last couple of months.

He said the current foreign exchange reserve was over $18 billion while the credit flow to the private sector had declined. ‘As a result, banks are not facing liquidity crisis. So, interest rate could be reduced by investing in the productive sectors.’

The DCCI chief stressed inclusion of the private sector representatives in any commerce ministry initiative for regaining the GSP facility in the US market and for continuation of such facility in the EU market.

Commerce secretary Mahbub Ahmed, DCCI senior vice-president Osama Taseer, vice-president Kh Shahidul Islam, and its directors Haider Ahmed Khan, Iftekharuddin (Naushad), Humayun Rashid, Sabur Khan, Nessar Maksud Khan, Rizwan Ur Rahman, Muktar Hossain Chowdhury, Rumi Saifullah, Sameer Sattar, Hossain A Sikder, M Shoaib Chowdhury, AKD Khair Mohammad Khan and KG Karim were present in the meeting.

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Source: New Age

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