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Exports to Bangladesh up by 150%

‘JEC best way for Lanka-Bangladesh MoUs’ - Rishad:

Sri Lanka’s exports to Bangladesh has increased by 150% from 2006-2011 but Sri Lanka believes that there’s untapped potential in bilateral trade. Under the Sri Lanka – Bangladesh Joint Committee for Economic and Technical Cooperation, the two countries have already agreed to boost cooperation in small and cottage industries, air services, tourism, shipping, and cultural aspects. And the Sri Lanka-Bangladesh Joint Commission (JEC) is the most appropriate mechanism to implement the 2011 MoUs between Sri Lanka and Bangladesh.


Industry and Commerce Minister Rishad Batiudeen delivers his opening remarks at the fourth Session of the Bangladesh – Sri Lanka Joint Commission on Economic and Technical Cooperation. Bangadesh Finance Minister Abdul Maal Abdul Muhith seated on Minister Bathiudeen’s right

“We need to have a fresh look and identify the complementarities prevalent between our two countries, so that we can generate more cooperation and exchanges. And we should also pool our synergies to exploit other markets, working as a value chain” said Industry and Commerce Minister Rishad Bathiudeen. Minister Bathiudeen was delivering his opening remarks at the fourth Session of Bangladesh-Sri Lanka Joint Commission on Economic and Technical Cooperation on March 7 in Dhaka, Bangladesh. The latest round of Sri Lanka-Bangladesh Joint Commission on Economic and Technical Co-operation (JT&EC) commenced in Dhaka, Bangladesh, on 07 March and ended yesterday.

Minister Bathiudeen is leading the Sri Lankan national delegation to Dhaka sessions. The third Session of the Joint Commission on Economic Cooperation between Sri Lanka – Bangladesh was held in Colombo on 30th -31st March 1993 (Ministerial Level).

According to the Commerce Department, the two-way trade between Sri Lanka and Bangladesh has been at a moderate and stable level. However, some improvements have been recorded during last 4-5 years. As far as Sri Lanka’s exports to Bangladesh are concerned, it has increased by around 150% during the period 2006-2011. Among the cooperation avenues is the air-services. Mihin Lanka operates air services from Colombo to Dhaka but the Commerce Department under the Industry and Commerce Ministry believes that it would be appropriate if the existing Air Services Agreement is revisited to make it more responsive to current needs, including the facilitation of transport of air cargo.

“Let’s make maximum use of this Joint Commission to inject a new impetus to our economic ties. As you all are aware, our bilateral trade is currently confined only to a few product lines. The overall value of our two-way trade currently remains at around 71 million US dollars.

This is much below our potential and we certainly can do better. We need to have a fresh look and identify the complementarities prevalent between our two countries, so that we can generate more cooperation and exchanges. We should also pool our synergies in order to exploit other markets, working as a value chain. I am pleased to note that Bangladesh has emerged as an attractive investment destination for Sri Lankan investors, in particular for those who are in the apparel sector. In return, Sri Lanka would be more than happy to welcome Bangladeshi investors.

As you all are aware, Sri Lanka permits 100% foreign ownership in almost every industry sector. After nearly three decades of terrorism which ended in May 2009, Sri Lanka has entered a new chapter in its history. Today, we are one of the most stable and peaceful nations in the world. Under the visionary leadership of our President Mahinda Rajapaksa, Sri Lanka has reached an accelerated phase in post-conflict development” Minister Bathiudeen said.

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