June 13, 2024

Bangladesh’s Business leaders insist on an FTA with Sri Lanka

2 min read

Federation of Bangladesh Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FBCCI) President Md Jashim Uddin last week stressed the need for signing a Free Trade Agreement (FTA) with Sri Lanka to increase bilateral trade and investment.

“A free trade agreement between the two countries will make it easier to increase bilateral trade and investment,” he said.

Jashim said this when Sri Lankan High Commissioner Professor Sudharshan Seneviratne met him at the FBCCI office in the capital today, said a press release.

Urging to increase regional trade, the FBCCI President said most of Bangladesh’s trade is with the United States and the European Union. 

But, it is more profitable to do business with neighboring countries. 

Referring to the huge volume of inter-trade in NAFTA and ASEAN, Jashim said if the SAFTA could have been implemented properly, then the development of SAARC countries would have been accelerated. 

The FBCCI President also emphasized the importance of cooperation in the energy sector among the SAARC countries.

Sri Lankan High Commissioner said his country is keen to attract investment from Bangladeshi entrepreneurs in tourism and agriculture. 

Seneviratne said his country is offering attractive incentives for foreign investors, including tax holidays. 

“Bangladeshi entrepreneurs can benefit by investing in huge uncultivated land in Sri Lanka,” he said.

The envoy also sought Bangladesh’s cooperation in the development of tourism and shipping. 

Seneviratne said the Colombo port now has four harbors and is equipped with more modern facilities. Therefore, he urged the Bangladeshi cargo ships to go through Colombo.

During the meeting, FBCCI Director Priti Chakraborty called for joint initiatives on nursing training between Bangladesh and Sri Lanka.

FBCCI Vice President Habib Ullah Dawn, Director Shomi Kaiser, Dr. Nadia Binte Amin and Secretary General Mohammad Mahfuzul Hoque, were present, among others at the meeting. 

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