Sri Lankan President Maithripala Sirisena on Saturday attended a trade and investment event before leaving Dhaka that discussed ways to have greater trade and investment cooperation between the two countries.Bangladesh and Sri Lanka want to see their two-way trade volume triple in the next two years – which is now roughly a measly US$ 142 million – with support from private sector players of the two countries exploring new investments and business opportunities.
Bangladesh Investment Development Authority (BIDA) and Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce and Industry (MCCI) jointly arranged the event titled ‘Bangladesh-Sri Lanka Investment and Business Dialogue: Moving towards Greater Economic Partnership’ at a city hotel.Bangladesh business leaders and the visiting Sri Lankan trade delegation members joined the interactive dialogue and discussed ways to achieve enhanced bilateral trade goals.
Foreign Minister AH Mahmood Ali and his Sri Lankan counterpart Ravi Karunanayake, among others, spoke at the dialogue and expressed their optimism that bilateral trade relations will see a big boost with the signing of Free Trade Agreement (FTA) by this year.
Principal Coordinator (SDGs Affairs) at the Prime Minister’s Office M Abul Kalam Azad, BIDA Executive Chairman Kazi M Aminul Islam, FBCCI President M Shafiul Islam Mohiuddin, MCCI President Nihad Kabir, former MCCI President Syed Nasim Manzur and Laugfs Holdings Ltd Chairman WKH Wegapitiya, among others, spoke at the business event.
Bangladesh and Sri Lanka signed 14 instruments — one deal and 13 MoUs — during the visit beginning a new journey in their bilateral relations.This was Sirisena’s first visit to Bangladesh since he was elected Sri Lankan President in 2015. He visited Bangladesh in 2013 and 2014 as Sri Lankan Health Minister.