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Tofail for attaining efficiency in digital trade

Tofail for attaining efficiency in digital trade

DHAKA: Commerce Minister Tofail Ahmed yesterday laid emphasis on attaining efficiency in digital trade to keep up the country’s progress in the competitive world trade.

“We have no scope to lag behind when the world trade is moving up adopting digital system,” said the minister while addressing a workshop as chief guest in CIRDAP auditorium.

Bangladesh Foreign Trade Institute (BFTI) organized the workshop titled “Cross-border paperless Trade Facilitation in Bangladesh”.

He hoped that paperless trade will not only reduce labour, time and expenditure but also ensure accountability and transparency.

Referring to the research that indicates digital trade will cut 17-31 percent business cost and 24-44 percent time, the minister said: “We have to keep running our progress adopting the modern trade system.”

World Trade Organization (WTO) has decided to sign agreement with concerned countries to ease cross-border trade and Bangladesh approved it on September 27, 2016 as per the decision of the WTO Ministerial Conference in Bali in 2013. Bangladesh is going to sign Trade Simplification Agreement on August 29 in Thailand’s capital Bangkok.

Citing the country’s export target of US$ 37.5 billion from products and computer service in fiscal 2017-18, Tofail said: “Private sector has to move forward alongside the government to attain the target.”

National Board of Revenue (NBR) Chairman Nojibur Rahman, Tariff Commission Chairman Mushfika Ifkat, Commerce Secretary Shubhashish Bose, Chief Controller of Imports and Exports Firoza Khan, former Secretary Sohel Ahmed and former Ambassador Munsi Foyez Ahmed, among others, spoke on the occasion.

BFTI Chief Executive Officer Ali Ahmed chaired the workshop. Representatives of different ministries, Bangladesh Bank, NBR and trade bodies also participated in the workshop giving their opinions on paperless cross-border trade.

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