Statement by Mr. Andalib Elias, Counsellor, Permanent Mission of Bangladesh to UN on (a) Trade, & (b) Technology, innovation and capacity building at the First Drafting Session of the Preparatory Process for Third International Conference on Financing for Development UNHQ, 29 January 2015
Thank you, Mr. Co-facilitator, for giving me the floor.
As always, we strongly endorse the statements by Suriname on behalf of G77 & China, and Benin on behalf of the Group of LDCs.
2 You mentioned in your paper, that trade can be an engine for development. But that is possible only when the developed markets will allow this engine to function. Simple, transparent and easy to abide-by rules of origin are key requirements for exports from developing countries to gain access to global markets. All developed countries, and the major developing countries should work sincerely to simplify their rules of origin regimes. With average tariff rates being not very high globally, stringent rule of origin applied by developed countries make preferential market access for developing country products meaningless, and goes against the concept of trade for development.
- All products from all LDCs need to get duty-free quota-free market access to all developed countries, and the developing countries that are in positions to offer so, at the soonest. This commitment was made to LDCs almost a decade ago, and we are yet to see its full realization.
- We also must take into consideration the trade hindering power of the other elements that are often used by importing economies like Non Tariff Barriers or NTBs, Technical Barriers to Trade or TBTs, Sanitary and phyto-sanitary or SPS measures, anti-dumping duties, and countervailing measures, to name a few. Without creating obstacles, in case of genuine concerns, developed countries should provide assistance to developing countries to overcome these technical barriers.
- Trade facilitation for export from developing countries also needs focus in FFD. Aid for Trade, and Enhanced Integrated Framework or EIF for LDCs can play pivotal role. These points need to be factored in when concrete language on trade will take shape.
- The chapter on technology, innovation and capacity building in the elements paper, although short, is very concise, and addresses several aspects. We would like to emphasize on just two points here:
- First, the importance of the Technology Bank and science, technology and innovation mechanism mandated by IPOA and adopted by the UNGA. It is important the developed countries, and developing countries with advanced technological base provide substantive support to this initiative for creating sound technological and economic base in LDCs.
- Second, TRIPS Agreement of the World Trade Organization (WTO) provides specific guideline for helping LDCs build their technological and innovation base. Article 66.2 of TRIPS Agreements asks developed country Members to provide incentive to their firms for transferring technology to LDCs. That was not a call, but a decision by Members. We are yet to see meaningful application of that provision. Sincere efforts by developed countries to fulfill this commitment will go a long way to build strong technological and innovation capacities in LDCs.
I thank you, Mr. Co-facilitator.