Dhaka, 30 November 2017. Today CSO (Civil Society Organizations) representatives and right based activist has demanded for Domestic Protection Policy for SME (Small & Medium Enterprises) before introducing E-Commerce in Bangladesh. They made this demand in national seminar title “E-Commerce & Domestic Protection: Issue of WTO Ministerial Conference 2017” that held at National Press Club, Dhaka. They also demand to declare government position on E-Commerce issue in upcoming WTO ministerial conference.
The seminar is moderated by Aminul Hoque of EquityBD and key note presented by Barkatullah Maruf form same organization. Mr. Abu Naser, Director-FBCCI, Md. Fazlul Karim, Director-DCCI, Mr. Asjadul Kibria, Member-Bangladesh Economic Association, Dr. Mesbahuddin Ahamed-Jatyo Sramik Jote, Mr. Abul Hossen, Convenor-Labour Movement Forum, Salauddin Bablu, Chief Reporter- SA TV and Mr. Badrul Alam, Bangladesh Krishak Forum spoke in the seminar.
In the key note presentation, Mr. Maruf said that the proposal and intention developed countries on e-commerce issue is to transform the mandate of discussion of 1998 non-binding rules into mandate of bilateral negotiation and legally binding options. The proponents of the proposal are 5 giant data companies Google, Apple, Facebook, Amazon and Microsoft of USA, Japan Canada, EU an few developing countries. African union and LDC are strongly opposing the proposal as it ruins the right of the consumers throughout the world along with the security of personal data. So Bangladesh govt. must take position for our own safeguard and also need to prepare to save small business entrepreneurs and save people.
Asjadul Kibria said that WTO didn’t able to set-a side the Doha Round discussion on especially Trade & Investment, Rules of Origin and Meaningful trade facilities those are very important for LDCs (Least Developed Countries) and need to decide. Than come to the e-commerce and in that case, Bangladesh has needed strong preparation indeed in WTO to face the imbalance situation further.
Dr. Mesbah uddin said that Ecommerce has been running based on disruptive technologies and rapidly evolving in developing countries like Bangladesh due to lack of competitiveness and market failure, but governments don’t have any effective mechanism or institution in regulating this sector for preventing market failures and protecting the consumer. Private car service “Uber” is one of the examples at present who might be a cause of local unemployment and become headache for government in future.
Mr. Abu Naser said that growing inequality is one of the major concern in Bangladesh which exacerbate in WTO deal through E-Commerce. We expect, government will think it very cautiously and discuss with us along with other stakeholder to prepare for upcoming ministerial conference.
Md. Fazlul Karim said that E-commerce is a premature action and initiatives for Bangladesh where governments will not be able to control unfair trade practices, such as predatory pricing, tax dodging. Thus domestic enterprises will lose their opportunity and capacities in competition. So govt. should not go with E-Commerce until development of adequate legal structure for domestic protection regarding digital trade, Internet governance and cyber-security.
Please download [Bangla Press] [English Press] [Position Paper] [E-commerce]