Bangladesh is set to continue receiving trade benefits even after its expected graduation from the least-developed country (LDC) category in November 2026. The World Trade Organization (WTO) has decided to extend support measures for countries in the process of graduating from LDC status.
This significant decision was reached during a meeting of the WTO General Council on October 23. Senior officials convened at the WTO headquarters in Geneva from October 23 to 24 to prepare for the 13th WTO Ministerial Conference scheduled for February 2024 in Abu Dhabi.
Professor Mustafizur Rahman, a distinguished fellow at the Centre for Policy Dialogue (CPD) and an expert in trade matters, emphasized the importance of this decision for Bangladesh and other graduating LDCs. He highlighted that it will enable a smooth and sustainable transition for these countries.
Initially, Bangladesh had requested a 12-year extension of duty-free market access from the WTO following its anticipated graduation from LDC status in 2026. This extended period was intended to ensure a seamless transition for LDCs, guaranteeing the continuation of LDC-specific preferences and provisions within WTO agreements after graduation.