Govt agencies functioning in haphazard mood, says fin min

Finance Minister AMA Muhith on Saturday said there is a lack of coordination among various ministries and agencies of the government, hampering important activities.

“I feel very unhappy…,” he said while addressing a consultative workshop on Comprehensive Trade Policy (CTP) of Bangladesh at a local hotel.

Muhith said coordination is very much important in the formulation of such a medium-term trade policy having long-term targets where various parties are involved.

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Mentioning that investment and trade always go together, Muhith stressed the need for giving more attention to attracting FDI, Public-Private-Partnership (PPP) initiatives and on SMEs on the Comprehensive Trade Policy.

He also highlighted the importance of manufacturing sector apart from agriculture and industry, ensuring environment measures and labour standards, services sector comprising construction, health and IT, product standardisation and manpower exports while formulating the CTP.

The finance minister suggested fixing the trade volume target at 70 percent of GDP in the next five years and opposed fixing any sector as a thrust sector for an indefinite period instead of a three-year timeframe.

On trade facilitation, Muhith came up with the opinion that Bangladesh should introduce a better system of trade financing adding, “In the present situation …trade financing is a central issue,”

Commerce Minister GM Quader, president of the Federation of Bangladesh Chambers of Commerce & Industry (FBCCI) AK Azad and charge de Affaires, delegation of the EU to Bangladesh, Andrew Barnard, spoke at the workshop organised by the Ministry of Commerce with Commerce Secretary Ghulam Hussain in the chair.