ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lanka’s cabinet of ministers had cleared a proposal to start talks on a preferential trade agreement with Bangladesh as bilateral exchanges with the two nations were at a low level despite being party to a number of regional agreements.
Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa tour of Bangladesh in March had agreed to start a free trade accord to strengthen economic relationships.
Sri Lanka’s Trade Minister had submitted the proposal to started talks with Bangladesh on a preferential trade agreement with a shortlist of items.
Sri Lanka and Bangladesh were parties to the SAARC Preferential Trading Arrangement (SAPTA), South Asian Free Trade Area (SAFTA).
The two countries were also parties of Global System of Trade Preference (GSTP), Asia – Pacific Trade Agreement (APTA) and Bay of Bengal Initiative for Multi-Sectoral Technical and Economic Cooperation (BIMSTEC).
However, trade movements between the two states lie at a minimum level despite the agreements. (Colombo/June15/2021)