Dhaka, 21st November 2013. Today fifteen civil society rights group including farmers and labor organization in a rally organized in front of national press club Dhaka urge government to emphasize free movement of natural labor in the upcoming WTO ministerial to be held in Bali during 3 to 6 December 2013.
The speakers in the gathering said that demand for duty free and quota free access (DFQF) and relaxation of rules of origin is a trap demand agenda for the LDCs as it might create weaker position to oppose TISA (Trade in Service Agreement) and TICFA (Trade Investment Cooperation Framework Agreement). The fifteen organizations are Aropn, OK Society, EquityBD, MFTD, SDO, Kishani Shova, CDP, Jatiya Sromik Jote, Bangladesh Krishok Federation, Bangladesh Bumihin Somitee, BFLF, VOICE, Labor Resource Centre, Surokkha and Agrogoti Foundation.
The speeches during rally is moderated by Mostafa Kamal Akanda of EquityBD, while other speakers are Mamun Khan of Agriculture Labor Farm Federation, Dr. Mejbah Uddin of Jatiya Sramik Federation, Moin Howlader and Zayed Iqbal Khan of Krishok Federation, Subol Sarkar of Bumihin Somity, Sayed Amimul Haque and Rezaul Karim Chowdhury of EquityBD.
Mamun Khan of Agriculture Farm Labor Federation said that WTO must tell developed countries to withdraw agricultural subsidies so that a level playing field is created for developing countries. Moin Howlader of Krishok Federation said that WTO must get out of Agriculture as food should be considered as basic rights. So, food must be out commercialization purview. Subol Sarkar of Bumihine Sommity said that in fact WTO serve the interest of multinational companies (MNC) of developed countries who force the developing countries to open the market for those MNCs.
Sayed Aminul Haque of EquityBD said that, Bangladeshi product like garments and medicine is already in competition globally. Therefore, demanding DFQF access might raise counterproductive argument from developed countries to us to give their MNCs unconditional access in our service sectors.
He urges that Bangladesh has strength in its huge human resource, who are natural labor and due to the climate change impact there will be more displacement of such human resource. It is agreed in mode 4 of Doha Development Round agreement that, developed countries must be agreed on this.
Rezaul Karim Chowdhury of EquityBD said that if Bangladesh does not oppose TISA and TICFA, the MNCs would have unconditioned access in our public services, in fact which will result commercialization of our health, education, electricity, telecommunication, transportation etc, which will hinder equity and justice especially to poverty alleviation. He also said that WTO must be dismantled as it hardly could serve poor nations since its inception.
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