Sri Lanka to enter into a Preferential Trade Agreement with Bangladesh

(COLOMBO, LANKAPUVATH) – The Sri Lankan government is planning to hold discussions with the government of Bangladesh on entering into a Preferential Trade Agreement between the two countries.

Both Sn Lanka and Bangladesh act as stakeholder member countries of the accords namely SAARC Preferential Trading Arrangement (SAPTA), South Asian Free Trade Area (SAFTA), Global System of trade Preference (GSTP), Asia — Pacific Trade Agreement (APTA) and Bay of Bengal Initiative for Multi-Sectoral Technical and Economic Cooperation (BIMSTEC), a statement on cabinet decisions said.

However, trade movements between the two states lies at a minimum level despite of special provisions under the aforementioned accords.

During the diplomatic tour of the Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa in Bangladesh in previous March, the leaders of the two member states had agreed upon the requirement of entering into a free trade accord for strengthening economic relationships between the two countries.

It has been agreed upon looking into the possibility of entering into a preferential trade agreement with a short list of goods as the initial step.

Accordingly, the Cabinet of Ministers agreed the proposal furnished by the Minister of Trade for holding discussions with the relevant authorities of that country with regard to entering into a preferential trade agreement with Bangladesh.

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