Sunday, January 29, 2023

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Bangladesh seeks direct shipping connectivity and entering into PTA with Sri Lanka

Bangladesh has expressed willingness on direct shipping connectivity with Sri Lanka and the resumption of negotiations for early conclusion of preferential trade agreement (PTA) between the two countries.

Shipping collaboration is another major potential area that exists between two countries and discussions will be held to divert more shipping connectivity towards the port of Colombo. Diversification of trade in the field of IT, tourism

Further the port of Colombo and Chittagong can be developed as regional shipping hubs. This will enhance transshipment facilities and greater opportunities for investment. Trade and shipping can be complimented by each segment to encourage bilateral trade.

Exchange of shipping delegations between Sri Lanka and Bangladesh can usher in passenger and cruise shipping operations which will be a greater impetus to the tourist industry.

These details were disclosed following the meeting of Foreign Minister Dr A.K. Abdul Momen with his Sri Lankan counterpart Ali Sabry on Wednesday evening, on the eve of the 22nd Ministerial Meeting of Indian Ocean Rim Association (IORA).

The two foreign ministers discussed the wide spectrum of bilateral relations and expressed hope to work closely for their countries and inclusive development of the region.

Momen requested to boost trade relations between Bangladesh and Sri Lanka through increased export of agricultural products and pharmaceuticals from Bangladesh at an affordable price.

The foreign minister of Sri Lanka assured that his country is also looking forward to working together with Bangladesh.

The two leaders agreed to expedite forming an institutional platform to hold regular and comprehensive dialogues between the countries at the foreign minister level.

The issue of mutual support for each other’s candidature at various international fora was also discussed with due importance.

Foreign Minister Momen also sought the support of Sri Lanka in repatriating the forcibly displaced Myanmar nationals.

Foreign Minister of Sri Lanka Ali Sabry arrived in Dhaka on Wednesday afternoon to attend the 22nd ministerial meeting of IORA.Earlier, he also met the state minister for shipping.

Minister Sabry is expected to call on the Prime Minister of Bangladesh along with the ministerial delegations from other member states of IORA and leave Dhaka on November 26.

Sri Lanka and Bangladesh are celebrating the golden jubilee of bilateral ties this year recognizing each other’s contribution to their socio-economic development.

At present the bilateral trade between two countries amounts to $ 300.0 million and there is potential to expand further. The comparative advantages both countries enjoy and possess in trade can be harnessed for further development.

Bangladesh welcomes investments from Sri Lanka and appreciates the Sri Lanka’s professionals who are rendering a yeoman service to uplift the Bangladesh Garments, Banking and other manufacturing industries.

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