Building Capacity for Global Trade Negotiations: ICAB

Capacity building is essential to participate more effectively in multilateral, regional and bilateral trade negotiations, bankers, chartered accountants and industry leaders said in a webinar.

They also emphasized the payment of exports in freely convertible currencies and the revision of the current tariff policy.

The Institute of Chartered Accountants Bangladesh (ICAB) organized the webinar on “International Trade Negotiations: The Bangladesh Perspective”.

Bangladesh Bank (BB) Governor Fazle Kabir was present as the main guest of the webinar.

Fazle Kabir said payment for exports must be executed in freely convertible currency. There is a dilemma between exporters and importers.

Exporters want cash payments, while importers want deferred payments, the governor said.

Therefore, there is a mismatch with respect to payments for which a counterparty agreement is required. This is essentially done by third-party funders, who act as facilitators to bring trade deals to fruition, he added.

ICAB Chairman Shahadat Hossain FCA said that Bangladesh is leading negotiations on Regional Trade Agreements (RTAs) such as BIMSTEC, APTA and a few bilateral FTAs ​​as well. In these negotiations, Bangladesh always places emphasis on creating better market access for goods, especially duty-free and quota-free market access, preferential market access for services where the Bangladesh has many potentials, elimination of non-tariff barriers (NTBs) etc.

“Successfully managing these complex negotiations is totally dependent on understanding the changes happening globally. global trade phenomena and survival trade policy,” he said.

They can also contribute to the trade policy formulation process, he noted.

Outlining the main objectives and process of trade negotiations, keynote speaker Shubhashish Bose said: “When we engage in international trade negotiations, we need to know the interests of our counterparts to get a sense of the common ground or find a balance, showing flexibility in protecting national interests and forming alliances between countries with similar interests taking into account global political issues, etc.

“Then we would strike a striking balance and come to an agreement,” he added.

“We are working to develop the environment for trade negotiations through various political supports,” said Afzal Hossain, chairman of the Bangladesh Trade and Tariff Commission.

Noor Md Mahbubul Haq, Additional Secretary (FTA), FTA Wing, Ministry of Commerce, said the current tariff policy should be reviewed. It is only a policy based on revenue collection.

“We also need to focus more on domestic trade negotiation skills. A separate negotiation department should be formed for the development of local industry,” he said.

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