Fisheries and Livestock Minister S M Rezaul Karim has said the government is planning to set up a separate economic zone for the fisheries sector for furthering the growth of the industry.
Speaking as chief guest at a workshop on 'Fisheries Subsidies in the Context of LDC Graduation and Way Forward' held at the NEC Conference Room in the capital today, "The government would provide all kinds of necessary support, including land acquisition support in setting up the zone."
He also said the success of such economic zones depends on spontaneous investment from the private entrepreneurs, according to a press release by the fisheries and livestock ministry today (1 August).
Mentioning a project previously initiated by the government to encourage deep-sea fishing, he said the government has been taking strict measures to discourage overfishing.
Secretary of the Ministry of Fisheries and Livestock Dr Nahid Rashid, President of Dhaka Chamber of Commerce & Industry (DCCI) Barrister Md Sameer Sattar and President of Bangladesh Frozen Food Exporters Association Kazi Belayet Hossain were present as special guests of the workshop. ERD Secretary Sharifa Khan chaired the event, organised by the Support to Sustainable Graduation Project (SSGP) of the Economic Relations Division (ERD).
During the 12th ministerial conference of the World Trade Organization (WTO) held in June 2022, the WTO members adopted the agreement of fisheries subsidies, which would create positive impact on the sustainability of marine fish stocks and fisheries through curbing subsidies to illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing; prohibiting subsidies to fishing on overfished stocks; and prohibiting subsidies to fishing on unregulated high seas.
Secretary of the Ministry of Fisheries and Livestock Dr Nahid Rashid said there are huge untapped opportunities in the blue economy sector of the country. She also called for increased public and private investment for tapping such opportunities.
ERD Secretary Sharifa Khan, in her speech, recommended the formulation of a roadmap to tap the opportunities existing in the blue economy sector.
President of Dhaka Chamber of Commerce & Industry (DCCI) Barrister Md Sameer Sattar said a comprehensive study needs to be carried out on the impact of withdrawing fishery subsidies in Bangladesh can actively participate in this negotiation and can raise this issue at the next Ministerial Conference of the WTO based on the findings of the study.
President of Bangladesh Frozen Food Exporters Association Kazi Belayet Hossain called for duty waiver on the import of fisheries instruments. He also called for further value addition and skill enhancement in this sector while emphasising the need for providing bonded warehouse facilities for this sector.
Welcoming the participants to the seminar, Additional Secretary of ERD and Project Director of SSGP Farid Aziz said the government has taken various measures to ensure a smooth and sustainable transition from LDC status.
Noting that Bangladesh is yet to fully explore the potentials of marine fishery resources, speakers at the workshop called for enhancing the domestic capacity in this regard.
Senior officials from government ministries, agencies and research institutions, and representatives from relevant trade associations attended the workshop.
Source: The Business Standard