Bangladesh keen to sign a “Free Trade Agreement” with Sri Lanka

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The two parties discussing matters

News 360 | Apr 26th, 2013

Bangladesh keen to sign a “Free Trade Agreement” with Sri Lanka

Bangladesh says it is ready to start discussions with Sri Lanka to strike a Free Trade Agreement between the two nations to improve two way trade, announced the Island’s Ministry of Industry and Commerce.

According to the Ministry, this message has been delivered by Mohammed Shahidul Haque, the Bangladeshi Foreign Secretary, who visited the country during the early part of this week.

“Bangladesh is, in principle, agrees to start discussions and explore on all possibilities to strengthen trade with Sri Lanka – including a Free Trade Agreement. We believe that bilateral tariffs are very high”, Haque has said.

In response, Rishard Bathiudeen, the Sri Lankan Minister of Industry and Commerce has said “We too are looking forward to an FTA with Bangladesh, perhaps starting with a Preferential Trade Agreement”.

Trade between the two South Asian countries has only totaled to a sum of US$ 83.19 million during the year 2012, an year on year growth of 73% compared US$ 48 million achieved in year 2012.

According to the Ministry, 45 Sri Lankan firms have invested US$ 292 million in Bangladesh covering various ventures; however in return Bangladeshi firms have only invested US$ 3 million in Sri Lanka in just 6 projects.

Minister Rishard Bathiudeen invites Bangladeshi pharmaceutical manufacturers to enter Sri Lanka to set up factories.
“Specially we invite committed Bangladeshi investors to our pharmaceutical manufacturing sector. We can arrange buyback agreements for promising, technology know-how generating and/or very low cost Bangladeshi manufacturers in this regard”, Bathiudeen has told the Bangladeshi Foreign Secretary.

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source: News 360