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The Financial Express

Commonwealth’s existing trade policies not satisfactory, finance minister says

| Updated: September 14, 2021 08:26:46


Commonwealth’s existing trade policies not satisfactory, finance minister says

Finance Minister AHM Mustafa Kamal has said that the existing trade-related policies and strategies of the Commonwealth are not satisfactory for its member countries.

The finance minister also said the proud past of the Commonwealth could be regained through concerted efforts.

He called for finding out a strong path for recovery in both trade and investment among the Commonwealth countries amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

The finance minister came up with the statement while addressing the ‘Commonwealth Trade and Investment Summit 2021’ virtually on Monday, reports BSS.

Kamal said, “The global community is now passing a crisis time as the COVID-19 pandemic has unexpectedly threatened the global economy, even the Commonwealth countries are not exception to this.”

He said the global economy has shrunk by 3 per cent last year while the economies of the Commonwealth countries have been squeezed by 10 per cent due to the impacts of COVID-19.

It was a major reason for a fall in global trade and investment, he mentioned.

Citing a report of the UNCTAD, the finance minister said the global foreign direct investment has declined by 42 per cent in 2020 while the Commonwealth economies of the Asia and the Pacific region have been affected by more than 50 per cent.

 Under the circumstances, he said that the noble goal of this summit should be to find out a strong path for recovery in both trade and investment among the Commonwealth countries.

Recalling the farsightedness and firm leadership of Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, Kamal said that Bangabandhu, during his participation at the 20th Summit of the Commonwealth in 1975, had called for ensuring optimum utilisation of resources and framing a new economic system for the manpower of the developing economies.

Following the economic philosophy of Bangabandhu, he said that Bangladesh, under the able leadership of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, has attained an unprecedented economic growth over the last one decade.

 The finance minister said perceiving the intensity of the adverse impacts of the pandemic on the country's economy, the prime minister has so far announced some 28 stimulus packages worth $22.08 billion which is also 6.23 per cent of the country's GDP.

“The economy of Bangladesh has been enjoying its good results,” he added.

 Commonwealth trade and investment council chairman Lord Marland, British Secretary of State for International Trade and President of the Board of Trade Elizabeth Mary Truss, among others, spoke at the Summit.

All the participants expressed their hope to work together for finding out a path for economic recovery through increasing trade and investment among the Commonwealth countries.

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