Bangladesh and Sri Lanka have agreed to seal a Free Trade Agreement (FTA) by the end of 2017. The decision was taken during Sri Lankan president Maithripala Sirisena's visit to Bangladesh recently. In order to boost the bilateral cooperation, a memorandum of understanding on economic partnership and 14 other agreements were signed between the two countries.
Taking into account the advantages and opportunities in Bangladesh and Sri Lanka, the leaders recognised the potential for collaborative partnership between the private sectors of the two countries, particularly in high-end apparel and textiles, said the joint statement.
During the visit, an agreement was signed between Chittagong BGMEA Institute of Fashion and Technology (CBIFT) and Sri Lanka Institute of Textile and Apparel (SLITA) to strengthen academic ties between both the countries.
Both the countries will invest in Special Economic Zones, industrial parks and hi-tech parks among others. Association between the Bangladesh Investment Development Authority (BIDA) and the Board of Investment (BoI) (Sri Lanka) would boost investment. The leaders have also asked the concerned authorities of Bangladesh and Sri Lanka for immediate finalisation of the agreements on customs cooperation, avoidance of double taxation and promotion and protection of investment between the two countries.
As per the joint statement, this partnership will also take into account the development of human resources.The association will also focus on the development of various sectors including trade and investment, agriculture, information and communication technology, higher education, finance and overall people-to-people connectivity.