SL offers H'tota port facilities to B'desh
The fourth round of the Bangladesh-Sri Lanka Joint Economic
Commission (JEC) meeting ended in Dhaka Thursday with a call to further
expand cooperation between the two nations.
Minister Rishad Bathiudeen
Both sides agreed that there was much scope to enhance bilateral
relations in various fields. Finance Minister AMA Muhith led the
Bangladeshi team while Minister for Industry and Commerce Rishad
Bathiudeen led the Sri Lankan team. At the end of the meeting at a joint
press briefing Muhith, said “ Sri Lanka offered Bangladesh to use its
newly built deep seaport at Hambantota ‘which will be helpful to us'.
“Let's explore the benefit since Hambantota port users wouldn't need to
go inside Colombo. That will help save time”, Muhith said.
He said Sri Lankan investors have some investment in Bangladesh, but
‘our investment there is almost nil'.Expressing hope of much better
cooperation among the two countries in future the finance minister said
despite three decades of conflict , Sri Lanka has done well in economic
and human development.
“Sri Lanka has a resilient economy that even the global recession
could not jolt,” he said. Rishad Bathiudeen said the two counties
maintain very friendly relations. He urged Bangladeshi entrepreneurs to
invest in Sri Lanka and enjoy various facilities offered by the
government. He said during the meeting the two sides have agreed to
further enhance bilateral trade and cooperation in the fields of
commerce, industry, agriculture, shipping, civil aviation and tourism,
ICT and education.
Bathiudeen said the bilateral trade between the two nations is only
US$71 million which can be increased manifold. He also requested the
Bangladeshi business community for joint venture investment in
pharmaceuticals, textile, apparel, ICT and hospitality industry.
Meeting sources said the two sides agreed they would undertake
measures for trade facilitation, including identification and removal of
non-tariff barriers and simplification and harmonization of
mutually-recognized standards which will help attain the expected level
of trade growth.
The next round of the Joint Economic Commission will be held in
Colombo at a date to be set latter, the meeting decided.
During the visit of President Mahinda Rajapaksa to Bangladesh in 2011
the two countries recognized that the Joint Economic Commission was an
effective mechanism to further boost bilateral cooperations.