'Ample scope for Bangla-SL business expansion'



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Sri Lanka -Bangladesh trade delegations meet to explore bilateral business opportunists at the National Chamber on Tuesday where Riaz Hamidullah, Bangladesh High Commissioner to Sri Lanka was present.


by Sanath Nanayakkare


There is ample scope for Bangladesh and Sri Lanka to develop bilateral business opportunities which needs to be exploited by manufacturers and service providers of both countries, Riaz Hamidullah, Bangladesh High Commissioner to Sri Lanka said at the National Chamber of Commerce on Tuesday.


Trade between Sri Lanka and Bangladesh in 2017 was around US$ 78 million with Sri Lanka exporting to the tune of around US$ 47.80 million worth of goods and importing to the value of around US$ 30.02 million.


Once the envisaged free trade agreement between the two countries is clinched, Sri Lanka will be the first country to have such a pact with three countries, namely; India ,Pakistan and Bangladesh having access to a market exceeding a population of 1.7 billion.


However, the Bangladesh High Commissioner said the FTA is a distant possibility in the wake of upcoming national elections in Sri Lanka.


Trade between the two countries increased by around 55 percent to US$ 166 million from 2013 to 2017. However, bilateral trade between the two nations declined last year. Apparels, plastics and petroleum products are some of Sri Lanka’s major export items to Bangladesh while pharmaceuticals, machinery parts, jute yarn and electric accumulators are some of the leading imports from Bangladesh.


Foreign companies could set up operations either in the Export Processing Zones (EPZ) or in the Special Economic Zones in Bangladesh. Foreign companies need to export a minimum of 80 percent of its products to set up a company in the EPZ.


Many leading Sri Lankan companies have invested in Bangladesh which has investment friendly policies for foreign investors. The LTL Group has invested over US$ 200 million in Bangladesh in the power, logistics and energy sectors. Around 30,000 Sri Lankan professionals are working in Bangladesh.


 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
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