Dhaka, Aug 27 (UNB) – Planning Minister AHM Mustafa Kamal, now in Vietnam to attend a conference, on Monday urged Sri Lanka to expedite implementation of the free trade agreement (FTA) signed with Bangladesh for enhancing the bilateral trade between the two countries.
He made the call at a meeting held with Sri Lankan Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe on the eve of the two-day Indian Ocean Conference 2018 in Hanoi, the capital of Vietnam, said a handout here.
Noting that now the bilateral trade volume between Bangladesh and Sri Lanka is only US$ 150 million, Mustafa Kamal said it is possible to multiply the two-way trade volume by making the FTA an effective one.
The Planning Minister recalled Sri Lankan President Maithripala Sirisena’s visit to Bangladesh in 2017 and emphasised the speedy implementation of agreements and Memoranda of Understanding (MoUs) signed between the two countries during his visit.
Mustafa Kamal said if the MoU over shipping collaboration is implemented, Bangladesh can enhance its export by expanding business to the western markets using Colombo Port, benefiting Sri Lanka as well.
At the meeting, the Sri Lankan Prime Minister assured that his government will be sincere over implementation of FTA and MoU on shipping collaboration.
Ranil Wickremesinghe said a good number of Sri Lankan nationals are working in the production and service sectors of Bangladesh in a friendly environment.