Bangladesh has achieved remarkable economic progress over the past 12 years under the able leadership of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina.
Bangladesh is the only least developed country in the world that met the criteria set in all the three indices to graduate to a developing country, as evaluated by the CDP in 2018.
I hope Bangladesh will be officially recognised as a developing country in 2024 having done well in all the indicators in the assessment of 2021 as well.
As an LDC, Bangladesh is now getting duty-free export facilities to different markets, including the European Union.
The LDC group, including Bangladesh, will table a proposal at the World Trade Organisation's Ministerial Conference slated for June next to make sure that the facilities remain in place even after graduating from the LDC to the status of a developing country.
Additionally, the government has continued to hold bilateral talks with the European Union, Japan, Canada and other countries so that they provide preferential trade facilities to Bangladesh even after its LDC graduation.
LDCs have been exempted from intellectual property rights in medicine till 2033. Bangladesh is not supposed to get this benefit after the LDC graduation as per normal rules.
Nonetheless, the country is in a very important position in the pharmaceutical industry. Bangladeshi companies, including Beximco, have provided emergency assistance to various countries in the ongoing pandemic crisis.
The country has received global appreciation for supplying medical textiles, including personal protective equipment (PPE) and facemasks, to developed countries including the United States and various European countries. Bangladesh has gained a reputation for exporting quality medicines all over the world.
A proposal will be placed before the WTO Ministerial Conference, demanding that Bangladesh and others can enjoy this facility under the Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS) agreement till 2033, even after the graduation from the LDC status.
Hopefully, the developed and developing countries will accept this proposal, taking into account the public life needs of poor countries and their purchasing power. As a result, there should not be any major problems for the pharmaceutical sector of Bangladesh after the LDC graduation.