• Sunday, Dec 05, 2021
  • Last Update : 08:24 pm

Dhaka, Colombo form 2 working groups to boost trade

  • Published at 03:51 pm April 23rd, 2013
Dhaka, Colombo form 2 working groups to boost trade

Two joint working groups on trade and shipping were launched yesterday to tap the potentials of enhanced trade and connectivity between Bangladesh and Sri Lanka.

The joint working group on trade is expected to start work within two months.

This was agreed when the Bangladesh Foreign Secretary M Shahidul Haque and Sri Lankan Secretary to the Ministry of External Affairs Karunatilaka Amunugama met on Monday at Colombo at the second Foreign Office Consultation, UNB reported quoting a foreign ministry message received here yesterday.

The two foreign secretaries reviewed the entire gamut of bilateral relations, and took stock of the progress made in implementing decisions made during the visit of President Rajapaksa to Bangladesh in 2011 and at the 4th Joint Economic Commission in 2012.

Both sides agreed to reduce tariffs at a faster rate, remove non-tariff barriers and para-tariff measures, and rationalise sensitive lists under multilateral frameworks like South Asian Free Trade Area (Safta).

Safta is an agreement of SAARC states signed on January 6, 2004 in Pakistan’s Islamabad. Under the agreement, a free trade area, comprising of Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan and Sri Lanka was made. The seven foreign ministers signed a framework agreement to reduce customs duties of all traded goods to zero by the year 2016.

The Bangladeshi and Sri Lankan foreign secretaries also agreed to launch discussions on a trade framework, beginning with a short-list of economically meaningful items for greater preferential market access, which could be expanded within an agreed time to form the basis for a possible FTA.

Both sides agreed to accord greater emphasis on enhanced maritime connectivity between Bangladesh and Sri Lankan ports.

A Sri Lankan delegation will visit Bangladesh soon to discuss all the related issues, including the enhancement of cargo, incentives and discounts of port charges, the possibility of coastal shipping, and other preferential treatments.

Given the interest of Sri Lanka to import medicines, the two foreign secretaries agreed to facilitate early conclusion of an arrangement on supply of emergency medicines under a government-to-government arrangement.

They also agreed to explore government-to-business collaboration in pharmaceuticals. Sri Lanka would welcome a pharmaceutical sector delegation from Bangladesh to Sri Lanka soon to discuss all the issues to facilitate trade and investment in this sector.

The two Foreign Secretaries also considered ways and means to enhance collaboration in the areas of culture, vocational training, and agriculture. They also discussed the possibility of higher-level bilateral visits in the future.

Foreign Secretary Shahidul Haque is scheduled to pay courtesy calls on President Mahinda Rajapaksa Tuesday. 

50
Facebook 50
blogger sharing button blogger
buffer sharing button buffer
diaspora sharing button diaspora
digg sharing button digg
douban sharing button douban
email sharing button email
evernote sharing button evernote
flipboard sharing button flipboard
pocket sharing button getpocket
github sharing button github
gmail sharing button gmail
googlebookmarks sharing button googlebookmarks
hackernews sharing button hackernews
instapaper sharing button instapaper
line sharing button line
linkedin sharing button linkedin
livejournal sharing button livejournal
mailru sharing button mailru
medium sharing button medium
meneame sharing button meneame
messenger sharing button messenger
odnoklassniki sharing button odnoklassniki
pinterest sharing button pinterest
print sharing button print
qzone sharing button qzone
reddit sharing button reddit
refind sharing button refind
renren sharing button renren
skype sharing button skype
snapchat sharing button snapchat
surfingbird sharing button surfingbird
telegram sharing button telegram
tumblr sharing button tumblr
twitter sharing button twitter
vk sharing button vk
wechat sharing button wechat
weibo sharing button weibo
whatsapp sharing button whatsapp
wordpress sharing button wordpress
xing sharing button xing
yahoomail sharing button yahoomail