748. I wish first of all to congratulate you on the way you have chaired the present sessions. 749. I wish to make some brief opening remarks, before giving the floor to our focal point, Bangladesh, to present our communication. 750. The LDC Group has submitted a duly motivated request, to which you referred earlier, to extend the transition period pursuant to Article 66.1 of the TRIPS Agreement, since the current transition period granted to the LDC Group, the second such period, will expire on 1 July 2021 as you yourself stated a moment ago. 751. Furthermore, the situation of LDCs has remained unchanged, if it hasn't worsened. Our communication also addresses the situation of graduating LDC Group Members. LDCs represent the most vulnerable and weakest segment of the international trade community. Characteristics of LDCs include low per capita income, a low level of human development and structural economic barriers. 752. Our countries still face many difficulties in reaching their development goals, even as the implementation period for the Istanbul Programme of Action for LDCs for the decade 2011-2020, adopted by the Fourth United Nations Conference on the Least Developed Countries, is coming to an end. It is worth recalling that the COVID-19 pandemic has created more barriers for LDCs to deal with. Confinement measures and the slump in global demand have particularly impacted LDCs that are dependent on exports of finished goods. The COVID-19 pandemic will clearly have far-reaching implications for the global economy and particularly for LDCs, including those on the path to graduation. 753. In this context, overcoming these economic, financial and administrative constraints and being given flexibility to establish a viable technological base, remain vital. This is what I wanted to say, as an opening remark and, with your permission, I wish now to let our focal point, Bangladesh, present our communication.