Bangladesh Commerce Minister Tofail Ahmed has said, Services sector has emerged as leading sector accounting to more than 50 percent of the GDP in most of the South Asian Countries including Bangladesh due to increasing demand with the country. It has also contribution to employment generation.
The Minister said this at a seminar on “Opportunities for Cooperation in Services in South Asia” at New Delhi’s historic Pragati Maidan today.
The seminar was also addressed, among others, by Bangladesh State Minister for ICT, Post and Telecommunication Zunaid Ahmed Palak, State Minister of the Maldives for Economic Development Abdul Latheef Mohamed, President of Sri Lankan Federation of Chamber of Commerce and Industry Ajith Wattuhewa and Director General of Confederation of Indian Industry.
Bangladesh High Commissioner to India Syed Muazzem Ali, former President of India-Bangladesh Chamber of Commerce Abdul Matlub Ahmad, Indian business leaders, senior officials of Indian government and diplomats were present at the seminar.
Tofail Ahmed said India is a big player in the region due to its economic strength and it can play a vital role in the region. Bangladesh, as LDC coordinator in the WTO, has been trying to get preferential market access in services for LDCs under the Waiver Decision of the WTO. To reap the benefits of economic integration, the region needs to promote liberalization in the service sector – a promising area for a rising South Asia.
’We should aim at taking necessary initiatives to operationalise the WTO agreement to increase trade and cooperation in service sector in South Asian Region,’ Bangladesh Commerce Minister said, adding ‘We can explore the opportunity to expand cooperation in the sector like ICT, Tourism, Energy, Healthcare and Education. We can make these sectors very competitive in the world market.’