High-level SL-B’desh meeting in Dhaka next month

Friday, 16 June 2017 00:00 -     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}


  • Bathiudeen leading trade and biz delegation to Dhaka next month
  • ‘Our two-way trade tripled since 2010’ - Bathiudeen
  • ‘Refreshing present arrangements can also help’ - Ambassador Hamidullah
  • ‘High-level business forum a B2B boost’ - Bathiudeen

 As the latest data reveals a threefold total trade jump with Bangladesh, including a threefold rise in exports, Sri Lanka’s high-level talks with Bangladesh for even bigger trade and investment are now slated for next month in Dhaka.

“Bilateral trade between the two countries has tripled since 2010 but there are unexplored potentials,” said Minister of Industry and Commerce Rishad Bathiudeen on 12 June. Minister Bathiudeen was addressing High Commissioner of Bangladesh to Sri Lanka Riaz Hamidullah on 12 June at the Ministry of Industry and Commerce.  

“Two-way trade between Sri Lanka and Bangladesh has shown a strong growth trend. Even our exports to Bangladesh increased in the last five years,” said Minister Bathiudeen, adding: “To enhance trade and investment opportunities between both countries further I have instructed my officials to plan a strong trade and business delegation to Dhaka from Sri Lanka this July. We are looking for much bigger trade and investments to Sri Lanka from Dhaka as well in the aftermath of a proposed high-level business forum to be held along with this event, which is essential for B2B links.”

According to the Department of Commerce, total trade between both countries, which was at a mere US $ 48 million in 2010, has tripled to $ 142 million in 2016. The balance of trade between the two countries has always been in favour of Sri Lanka. Among Sri Lanka’s top exports to Bangladesh are cotton, plastics, fabrics, soap and washing preparations and lubricants. Sri Lanka’s exports to Bangladesh at $ 35 million in 2010 also tripled to $112 million in 2016. Among the top imports from Bangladesh to Sri Lanka are medicines, textile fibres and paper yarn, steel, apparel and cotton. The $ 13 million in import volume to Sri Lanka from Bangladesh in 2010 also surged to $ 39 million by 2016.

“We welcome a high-level Sri Lankan delegation to Dhaka,” said Ambassador Hamidullah, responding to Minister Bathiudeen. 

“A high-level business forum, along with official trade talks, is a great impetus for future bilateral business. Refreshing our present arrangements, for e.g. the Double Taxation Avoidance treaty, can also help if necessary. We can mutually start work for larger investments. I am pleased to say that the cost of doing business in Bangladesh has significantly decreased in recent years. Already many Lankan companies have invested with us.”

Forty-five Lankan companies are already operating in Bangladesh at present with $ 300 million in investment. They are active in the sectors of apparel, banking, paper and consumer goods.