Neither Bangladesh nor other LDCs should agree on TISA (Trade in Services Agreement) or TIFA (Trade and Investment Framework Agreement) as being pushed by WTO as it undermines the basic human rights by commercialization of Education, Health, Food and Water and only ensures the unchallenged profit by the multinational companies. Government of Bangladesh should not agree on it even in exchange Duty Free Quota Free (DFQF) market access is offered.
It is said today in a press conference the National Press Club, called by 23 rights based organizations led by EquityBD titled “WTO pushes for import liberalization. Why should we pay for MNC’s profit?” The press conference is called to protest the Bangladesh visit of Mr. Roberto Azevédo, the Director General of WTO. He is visiting Bangladesh today having the important meeting with the Prime Minister, Commerce Minister and private sector today in Dhaka.
Rezaul Karim Chowdhury of EquityBD moderates the press conference while Barkat Ullah Maruf of the same organization presents the keynotes. Aminur Rasul Babul of Unnayan Dhara Trust, Pradip K Roy of Online Knowledge Society, Syed Aminul Huq of COAST Trust and Mustafa Kamal Akanda of EquityBD spoke in the press conference.
In his keynote paper Barkat Ullah Maruf says, DFQF is important for LDC like Bangladesh but when we didn’t have that facility in 70s our readymade garments had achieved the global market with its quality and competitive price. So, when a verbal commitment on DFQF is offered in exchange of implementing anti-people agreements like TISA and TIFA Bangladesh shouldn’t accept it.
Aminur Rasul Babul in his speech says, Bangladesh had to close down many state owned companies to abide the Structural Adjustment Policy imposed by the World Bank and it caused a huge unemployment in Bangladesh. Mr. Roberto has come to Bangladesh right before the budget session where we are expecting a good amount of agricultural subsidy.
Pradip K Roy says, a large number of Bangladeshi labours are working in different countries but they are living in a sub human in those countries. Bangladesh should negotiate with WTO for the mode-4 when we are pushed for accepting other agreements.
Rezaul Karim Chowdhury, as the moderator of the press conference, said in his speech that we are worried on the Bangladesh government’s position on WTO and its treaties when its DG Mr. Roberto Azevédo is visiting Bangladesh. He emphasized on the TRIPS waiver extension for the LDCs until they graduated for being Developed countries.