Support to Sustainable Graduation Project (SSGP) of Economic Relations Division (ERD) organized a series of Online Focused Group Discussions (FGDs) during November 2020 on the probable impacts of LDC graduation with the country’s leading export-oriented sectors, namely– readymade garments, pharmaceuticals and leather.
Wing Chief of the Development Effectiveness Wing of ERD and Project Director of SSGP Mr. Farid Aziz chaired the events. National Project Manager of SSGP and former ERD Secretary Mr. Monowar Ahmed moderated the FGDs with RMG and pharmaceuticals sector while Advisor of SSGP and former ERD Secretary Kazi Shofiqul Azam moderated the FGD with the leather sector.
Bangladesh met all the criteria for graduating from the Least Developed Country status back in March 2018. The country is expected to meet the criteria once again during the upcoming triennial review in February 2021.
However, there is a consensus that LDC graduation may create new opportunities and challenges for the country’s export-oriented sectors due to the gradual withdrawal of LDC-specific international support measures.
In this context, the focused groups discussions were organized to increase awareness and understanding of the stakeholders regarding trade-related challenges of graduation, particularly on the export-oriented sectors like readymade garments, leather and pharmaceuticals. The FGDs also discussed the strategies and way forwards to cope up with the probable impacts of graduation.
Leading entrepreneurs from the aforementioned sectors, representatives from the relevant business bodies like Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA), Leathergoods And Footwear Manufacturers & Exporters Association of Bangladesh (LFMEAB) and Bangladesh association of Pharmaceutical Industries (BAPI) as well as high officials from the relevant regulatory agencies of the government participated in the aforementioned focused group discussions.
The FGDs are expected to increase awareness & understanding of the trade-related graduation challenges among the relevant stakeholders. It is also expected to Identify strategies, actions and policy options for overcoming challenges resulting from the graduation for the export-oriented sectors.