Eminent economist Dr Debapriya Bhattacharya said Bangladesh should launch negotiation with World Trade Organisation (WTO) to secure benefits of the Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS) even after the country’s economic graduation in 2026.
The WTO General Council will discuss the issue of extension of the TRIPS benefit for the least developed countries (LDCs) and the graduated LDCs in a meeting in Geneva on July 26-27.
“Bangladesh – in view of the upcoming General Council meeting – needs to mount a robust negotiating effort and demonstrate necessary political initiative,” said Bhattacharya, also a former Bangladesh ambassador to WTO.
He spoke at a virtual discussion with journalists on Saturday.
If Bangladesh cannot make good progress in securing the TRIPS facility in the upcoming meeting, the country will have to raise the issue in the next Ministerial Conference (MC) -12 to be held between November 30 and December 3 this year.
“However, the run-up time up to the MC-12, the apex WRO meeting is also quite short,” said Bhattacharya, who is also a member of the UN Committee for Development Policy (CDP) and Distinguished Fellow of the Centre for Policy Dialogue (CPD).
So, Bangladesh should take strong political initiative and the Bangladeshi missions abroad in some influential destinations like Washington, Brussels, London, Paris and Tokyo should also play a very active roles in next few days up to next general council meeting so that the country can secure support in favour TRIPS extension after 2026 and beyond.