Dhaka Chamber of Commerce and Industry on Tuesday demanded subsidy on gas price when the supply of imported liquefied natural gas began so that the local industries remained competitive in production.
‘The imported LNG price would be three times higher than the locally extracted gas and it would not be possible for the industries to grow with the high price of gas,’ said DCCI president Abul Kasem Khan in a meeting commerce minister Tofail Ahmed at Bangladesh Secretariat.
Citing the World Bank report, ‘Doing Business 2018’, DCCI president expressed his concern as Bangladesh has been placed at the bottom with the rank of 177 in the report.
Kasem proposed that the government formed a high-powered monitoring cell, headed by the commerce minister, to monitor ease of doing business and cost of doing business.
He said that Bangladesh would require $320 billion by the year of 2030 for developing reliable, sustainable and affordable infrastructure.
He requested the government to take initiative to integrate Bangladesh with the ASEAN as well as the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP), which is formed with 16 member- countries — 10 ASEAN members, China, India, Japan, South Korea, Australia and New Zealand.
Kasem said that considering the graduation from least developed to a middle income country Bangladesh needed to take rigorous preparation to qualify for GSP-plus facility from European Union by complying with core international standards in the areas of human rights, labour rights and good governance.
Commerce Minister Tofail Ahmed said that following the graduation of Bangladesh from LDC to MIC, country’s export would not decrease, rather it would be increase.
‘We have successfully addressed the challenged of child labour and Multi-Fiber Arrangement and hopefully we will be able to address the post graduation challenges,’ he said.
Tofail said that Bangladesh successfully qualified the three prerequisites of being MIC and the country would get GSP-plus facilities in the European market.
After reaching to MIC, Bangladesh would sign free trade agreements, preferential trade agreements and regional trade agreements with potential trading partner to increase export, he said.
‘Now, we are not going for FTAs with the countries in which we are getting duty-free, quota-free market access,’ commerce minister said.
Tofail said that by the end of this year FTA with Sri Lanka would be finalised and government would start bilateral discussion with Turkey for FTA.
Commerce secretary Shubhashish Bose and DCCI vice president Riyadh Hossain and directors Andaleeb Hasan, Humayun Rashid, Imran Ahmed, Rashedul Ahsan, KMN Manjurul Hoque, Mamun Akbar and Md Alauddin Malik were also present in the meeting.
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