Photo: Colombo Gazette

Dhaka, Bangladesh (BBN)– Bangladesh and Sri Lanka on Friday agreed to sign Free Trade Agreement (FTA) by this year to expedite bilateral trade cooperation between the two countries.
The decision to sign the FTA was finalised at the official bilateral talks between visiting Sri Lankan President Maithripala Sirisena and Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina held at the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) in the capital Dhaka.
“President Sirisena and Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina unanimously came to the decision to sign the Free Trade Agreement (FTA) by 2017,” Foreign Secretary of Bangladesh M Shahidul Huq said while briefing reporters on the outcome of the meeting.
The foreign secretary said both countries decided to complete all negotiations and studies in this regard as soon as possible to make way for the FTA, which will be the first such agreement of Bangladesh with any country.
“The decision on FTA is a big political push towards trade and investment collaboration between the two countries,” Mr. Haq explained.
PM’s press secretary Ihsanul Karim and Bangladesh Ambassador to Sri Lanka Reaz Hamidullah were present.
The foreign secretary also out of 14 instruments signed between the two countries seven are on trade and investment and agriculture.
Sri Lanka is keen to learn from the success of Bangladesh in agricultural sector to bring revolution in seed production, he added.
In addition to the 14 documents, a joint statement would also be issued at the end of the visit of Maithripala Sirisena, the secretary said adding that a framework has been given for the first time regarding the relations between Dhaka and Colombo.

BBN/SSR/AD