Preferential Trade Agreement (PTA)
Dhaka, Colombo for early conclusion of PTA to boost trade
Bangladesh and Sri Lanka have laid emphasis on early conclusion of the Preferential Trade Agreement (PTA) with a hope that it will “widen” the bilateral trade significantly between the two South Asian countries. Foreign Minister AK Abdul Momen and his Sri Lankan counterpart Prof. G.L Peiris had a bilateral meeting on the sidelines of the 18th BIMSTEC ministerial meeting in Colombo on Tuesday. Read:Dhaka undecided on Colombo's request for another $250m loan: Momen They discussed areas of cooperation including diversification and expansion of the export basket. The negotiations over the PTA are at an advanced stage, said Secretary (East) Mashfee Binte Shams, who attended the meeting. Rector of Bangladesh Foreign Service Academy Asad Alam Siam and High Commissioner of Bangladesh to Sri Lanka Tareq Md Ariful Islam were also present. The Sri Lankan foreign minister highly commended the great leadership of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina for her policy against terrorism and violent extremism. Foreign minister Momen stressed on initiating regular commercial shipping lines and cruise shipping for enhancement of trade and people to people contacts. He also pointed out that the high price of air tickets is creating barriers to promoting tourism between the two countries. The Sri Lankan foreign minister emphasized and echoed the position of Bangladesh leadership for better utilisation of Colombo port for transportation of Bangladeshi goods for the benefit of both the sides. Read:Dhaka, Kathmandu eye broader cooperation in key areas Both the foreign ministers agreed to work together in various regional and multilateral fora for common benefits. Momen thanked his Sri Lankan counterpart for the warm hospitality and congratulated for hosting the BIMSTEC Summit preceded by the ministerial meeting and the senior officials meeting. The Sri Lankan foreign minister recalled his visit to Dhaka last year in November and his meeting with prime minister Sheikh Hasina.
Hasina for tapping Bangladesh-Maldives’ full trade potentials
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on Thursday laid emphasis on fully tapping the potentials of bilateral trade and investment between Bangladesh and the Maldives. “Despite opportunities, we couldn’t yet fully tap the potentials of bilateral trade and investment,” she said while delivering her joint press statement at the Presidential Office here. Sheikh Hasina said with its growing manufacturing capacity, Bangladesh would be able to supply many quality products to the Maldives at competitive prices. Read: Hasina-Solih talks in progress Hasina also reemphasized the necessity of a Preferential Trade Agreement (PTA) between the two countries and a bilateral investment protection arrangement for mutual facilitation of investment. The Prime Minister mentioned that she had a detailed discussion with Maldivian President Solih on promoting bilateral trade, investment, and connectivity. It is Hasina’s first-ever bilateral visit to the Maldives, though she had come here earlier for the SAARC Summit. Hasina termed 2021 as a landmark year for Bangladesh-Maldives bilateral relations. “We had the honour of commencing our celebrations of the birth centenary of our Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman and the Golden Jubilee of our Independence in March this year with the presence of President Solih in Bangladesh,” she said. The PM said the Vice President of the Maldives visited Bangladesh in November, followed by bilateral consultations between the two countries. “Earlier in February, we also had the opportunity to welcome your Foreign Minister in Dhaka, and now I am here,” she said. She expressed her satisfaction over the meeting with the Maldivian President terming it a very fruitful discussion on the entire spectrum of our bilateral relations. “We reviewed the progress made so far on our earlier decisions and found the outcome satisfactory. Following the official talks, we witnessed the signing of some bilateral instruments. We also witnessed handing over 13 Military Vehicles by our Government to the Maldives government as a goodwill gesture,” Hasina said.
Dhaka seeks enhanced trade with Malé through PTA, investment protection deal
Bangladesh has laid emphasis on enhancing trade with the Maldives through conclusion of bilateral Preferential Trade Agreement (PTA) and bilateral Investment Protection Agreement. Bangladesh and the Maldives also discussed the possible ways for expansion of the scope for employment of Bangladeshi nationals in Maldives through skill development training and regularization of those who are already staying in Maldives. Foreign Secretary Masud Bin Momen on Sunday met Vice President of the Maldives Faisal Naseem at the latter’s office in Malé. Read:Hasina for strengthening connectivity with Maldives He also met Minister of Economic Development of the Maldives Ismail Faiyyaz. During the two meetings, they discussed the issues of mutual interest. During the call on with the Vice President; the Foreign Secretary was accompanied by Ambassador Mashfee Binte Shams, Secretary (East) and other officials of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Vice President of the Maldives recalled his recent visit to Bangladesh and thanked Bangladesh Government for arranging a successful visit which has brought out tangible outcomes. Foreign Secretary Masud briefed the Vice President about the Foreign Office Consultations successfully completed between him and his Maldivian counterpart. Both sides underscored the necessity to collaborate with each other on the area of skill development, human resources development, trade, commerce, connectivity and cooperation in tourism.
Dhaka, Colombo look for quick conclusion of PTA
Bangladesh and Sri Lanka on Monday emphasized the importance of expeditious conclusion of the Preferential Trade Agreement (PTA) and enhancement of trade and commerce between the two countries. The two countries also underscored the need for further strengthening air and maritime connectivity for the greater benefits of the two nations. The issues were discussed when Sri Lankan Foreign Minister Prof Gamini Lakshman Peiris met his Bangladesh counterpart Dr AK Abdul Momen at State Guest House Padma. The two sides stressed further cooperation in the sectors like trade and commerce, investment, tourism, connectivity, agriculture, fisheries, education, and people-to-people contact. Read: Border killings unfortunate for Bangladesh; shameful for India: FM Dr Momen congratulated the newly appointed Foreign Minister of Sri Lanka and thanked him for attending the 21st meeting of the IORA Council of Ministers’ (COM) physically despite the global Covid-19 related health concerns. He also stated that Bangladesh attaches high importance to its relations with Sri Lanka which, he termed excellent, based on the historical linkages, friendship, and commonalities of views and shared vision of prosperity. Recalling the state visit of Mahinda Rajapaksa, Prime Minister of Sri Lanka to Dhaka on 19–20 March 2021 on the occasion of birth centenary of Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman and the Golden Jubilee of the Independence of Bangladesh, he noted that it contributed towards strengthening the ties of the two countries. The Sri Lankan Foreign Minister expressed his happiness for meeting the Foreign Minister of Bangladesh. He recalled the recent meeting of Sri Lanka President Gotabaya Rajapaksa and Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on the sidelines of the World Leaders’ Summit of CoP-26 and said the leadership of Sri Lanka highly appreciated the recent economic development of Bangladesh. He reiterated the importance of close relations between the two neighbours. The Sri Lankan Foreign Minister sought collaboration on the area of e-commerce, involvement in the digital sector through sharing of Bangladesh’s expertise. Dr Momen particularly mentioned Bangladesh’s success in the pharmaceutical sector and urged his Sri Lankan counterpart to import pharmaceuticals products from Bangladesh. Both the ministers noted the ongoing cooperation under IORA, maritime cooperation, maritime security, blue economy, climate change and prevention of over exploitation of marine resources. Read: France firmly with Bangladesh over Rohingya issue: FM Momen They also pledged to explore the possible collaboration between Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman Maritime University of Bangladesh and National Institute of Oceanographic Marine Sciences of Sri Lanka. The meeting ended with a positive note in a cordial atmosphere. The Sri Lankan Foreign Minister is on a three-day visit to Bangladesh and will attend the 21st meeting of the IORA Council of Ministers’ (COM) which is scheduled to be held on Wednesday.
BBIN pact to boost Bangladesh-Nepal ties: Momen
Dhaka has underscored the need for the early implementation of BBIN (Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Nepal) motor vehicles pact for regional connectivity and cooperation with Kathmandu in the areas of energy and trade. Bangladesh Foreign Minister Dr AK Abdul Momen raised the issue with the NepaleseAmbassador in Dhaka, Dr Banshidhar Mishra, at the Foreign Service Academy on Monday. Dr Momen also highlighted the excellent bilateral relations between Bangladesh and Nepal during the meeting. Read: Nepal can use Mongla and Paira ports, Hasina tells envoy On his part, the Ambassador of Nepal underscored the necessity of enhanced trade and commerce between the two countries through early conclusion of Preferential Trade Agreement (PTA).