The Policy Times Dhaka Bureau :
A TRIPS transition period for the LDCs has been extended for a period of another thirteen years. After a long and intense negotiation among the members of the World Trade Organisation (WTO), a proposal in this regard has been adopted today by consensus in the TRIPS Council. Bangladesh played a leadership role in this negotiation on behalf of the Least Developed Countries (LDCs). This is the longest extension up till now. Mentionable, earlier there were such extensions for periods of seven and eight years.
On this extension, Md. Mustafizur Rahman, Ambassador and Permanent Representative of Bangladesh in Geneva said, ‘the negotiation was not smooth at all. The developed countries – particularly, the US and the European Union were not agreeable to such a long transition period. This special transition period will remain in force till 1 July 2034. With this achievement, I along with my colleagues are delighted.’ He also said, ‘Bangladesh is soon going to graduate from the list of the LDCs. Despite that, we were inclined to find a long-term transition period for the LDCs so that they don’t need to sit for negotiation frequently.’
Mentionable, Bangladesh has been playing a leadership role on behalf of the LDCs in various international negotiations. Currently, another proposal with regard to LDC graduation is under consideration in the General Council of WTO. Bangladesh is also leading the LDCs in this negotiation. At present Chad of Africa is playing the role of Coordinator in the organization. But on the matters of trade and intellectual property rights, Bangladesh is leading the negotiations in the WTO.