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Sri Lankan President Sirisena leaves Dhaka
15 July 2017, 07:55 | Melissa Porter
FTA with Sri Lanka this yr
President Maithripala Sirisena who is now engaged in a three day visit in Bangladesh, is scheduled to meet their business community today.
Agreements were entered into in the fields of standardisation, increasing economic co-operation, information technology and radio and television development.
A joint statement between Bangladesh and Sri Lanka said, President Sirisena and Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina held discussions on all aspects of Bangladesh-Sri Lanka relations as well as contemporary global and regional issues of common interest.
President Sirisena appreciating the warm hospitality and courtesies extended to him and his delegation by the government and the people of Bangladesh during the visit, extended an invitation to Bangladesh Prime Minister to visit Sri Lanka at a mutually convenient time in 2018.
The two leaders asked the officials concerned to complete all necessary steps quickly regarding the FTA.
"Taking into account the advantages, opportunities and complementarities that Bangladesh and Sri Lanka enjoy, the Leaders recognized the potential for collaborative partnership between the private sectors of the two countries, particularly in high-end apparel and textiles, information technology and related knowledge industry, religious and eco-tourism, gems and jewellery and precious metal, agriculture and agro-processing, fisheries- livestock- dairy-horticulture, health management, infrastructure development and construction, pharmaceuticals, energy and power". There were some FTAs in the pipeline, he added.
Bangladesh and Sri Lanka have signed 14 instruments, including one between the shipping corporations of the two countries, on the sidelines of Sirisena's visit.
There was also an agreement to exempt rulers and rulers' servants from of both countries from visa requirements.
Foreign Secretary Shahidul said seven out of the 14 instruments were on trade and investment which means that the two sides focused on boosting trade relations. Hasina announced her plan to procure the Chinese submarines in 2013 when Bangladesh signed a billion-dollar deal with Russian Federation to buy fighter training jets, helicopters and anti-tank missiles.
Regarding the cooperation on higher education, the foreign secretary said a large number of Sri Lankan medical students are studying in Bangladesh and the MoU was signed to further enhance cooperation in the sector.
According to Presidential media sources, Minister Ravi Karunanayake, State Minister Wasantha Aluwihare, and Deputy Ministers Mohan Lal Grero and Nishantha Muthuhettigama were also present at said encounter.
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