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BGMEA to raise RTA issue at WTO

Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA) will raise its concern over regional trade agreements at the World Trade Organisation’s meeting styled ‘WTO Dialogue with Business’ to be held at Geneva. The apex trade body for garment manufacturers said the regional trade agreements like Transpacific Partnership (TPP) signed bypassing the law of the WTO is an impediment to multilateral rules-based trading system.

High-level representatives from a diverse range of sectors from across the world will find an opportunity to have their say. A three-member delegation led by BGMEA president Siddiqur Rahman reached Geneva to attend the business dialogue in response to the invitation of Roberto Azevedo, WTO Director General.

The TPP is such an initiative recently taken by 12 developed countries representing nearly 40 per cent of global GDP. The apex trade body of the apparel industry also will present the progress made so far following the collapse of Rana Plaza building to ensure workers safety and their rights. The RMG people think that the regional trade pact like TPP will limit the space for the Least Developed Countries (LDCs) and create an unfair competition.

They urged the World Trade Organisation to take the lead to ensure enough policy protection for the LDCs from such RTAs by engaging developed members in discussions with a spirit to ensure level playing field.

Bangladesh needs expansion of its manufacturing industries and increase exports to develop economy. That is why duty-free market access is one of the most critical factors for the export-led growth strategy.