Dhaka, Bangladesh (BBN) – Civil Aviation and Tourism Minister of Bangladesh Lt Col (retd) Faruk Khan has called for well-functioning of the WTO, full implementation of Hong Kong Ministerial Decision on Duty-free-Quota-free (DFQF) market access for LDCs and forging ahead to break the current deadlock in Doha Development Agenda (DDA) negotiations.

He made the call on behalf of Least Developed Countries (LDCs) in his statement in the opening day of the 8th WTO Ministerial Conference in Geneva on Thursday.

In the statement in the plenary Session, Mr. Khan emphasized that early outcome of LDCs’ priorities would be the way forward to DDA, said a message received in the capital Dhaka on Friday.

He appreciated the much-awaited Decision on LDCs’ Services waiver and called for the implementation of S&D provisions for the LDCs needs to be reviewed on a regular basis, backed by sound data and evidence.

The minister emphasized the need for finding a viable solution to the existential crisis of cotton producers in the C4 countries. He cautioned about plurilateral approach in DDA.

In the morning, ministers of developing countries adopted a declaration calling for the earliest conclusion of the Doha Development negotiations in accordance with its mandate having development at the centre piece of DDA negotiations.

Declaration also emphasized that any early harvest must give priority to development issues, particularly LDC specific issues.

On another occasion, ministers from the countries of the group of friends of development comprising LDCs, African Group, ACP, Brazil, China, India and South Africa met to highlight the development dimension of DDA and emphasized that first priority should be given to priorities of LDCs and other development issues.

As the Coordinator of the LDC Consultative group, Bangladesh played an important role in these meetings in putting forward LDC issues in the priority of the broader forum.

BBN/SSR/AD-16Dec11-9:15 pm (BST)