ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lanka’s Export Development Board and High Commissioner for Bangladesh had linked up with companies trading with the country to clear impediments and boost trade.
The online forum had drawn around 30 companies representing tea, cosmetics & personal care products, textiles, electrical & electronic products, woven fabric & rubber products including tyres and chemical products.
Trade Minister Bandula Gunawardena had said that his ministry is working with the Department of Commerce and other agencies on a Bangladesh – Sri Lanka Preferential Trade Agreement (BS-SL PTA) to promote bilateral trade.
High Commissioner of Bangladesh Tareq Ariful Islam had spoken about the importance of trade development, investment and logistic services including shipping and air transport between the two countries considering the close proximity and location advantage.
The total trade between the two countries in 2020 was 200 million dollars. In 2020 Sri Lanka had exported 153.44 million dollars worth of products to Bangladesh making it the 21st largest export destination for Sri Lanka.
Meanwhile, Sri Lanka had imported 47.89 million dollars worth of pharmaceutical and apparel products from Bangladesh.
Key export products of Sri Lanka to Bangladesh are Electrical & Electronic Products, Woven Fabrics, Petroleum Oils, Petroleum Gases, Textile Articles, Products of Plastics, Nails, Screws, Bolts & Nuts of Metal and Paper & Paper Products.
Sri Lanka exporters taking part in the meet had discussed the issues they face when exporting.
High customs duties, visa issues and insufficient container ships and flights between the two countries are some of the issues the Sri Lankan exporters had discussed.
Bangladeshi counterparts had explained the procedure to obtain visas to visit Bangladesh and they have said that the proposed Bangladesh-Sri Lanka Preferential Trade Agreement will give duty concession for exporters when exporting to Bangladesh. (Colombo/Nov08/2021)