President of Sri Lanka Gotabaya Rajapaksa has offered greater use of Colombo port by Bangladesh for transportation of Bangladeshi goods.
Foreign Minister Dr. A K Abdul Momen paid a courtesy call on the President of Sri Lanka at the Presidential Palace in Colombo, Sri Lanka.
The Foreign Minister is now currently staying in Sri Lanka in connection with the 18th BIMSTEC Ministerial Meeting and the 5th BIMSTEC Summit.
The Foreign Minister drew attention of the Sri Lankan President to enhance trade and promote tourism by regular commercial shipping line and cruise shipping between Chattogram and Colombo Port.
For further promotion of tourism between the two countries, the Foreign Minister underscored the necessity of affordable air ticket prices with enhanced air connectivity in participation with more airlines.
The Sri Lankan President deeply appreciated the visionary leadership of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina for the policy of collective prosperity with special focus on counter terrorism and violent extremism.
Momen urged the President of Sri Lanka to take joint initiatives to fully utilize the trade potentials between Bangladesh and Sri Lanka.
He offered the government of Sri Lanka to explore the possibilities of importing pharmaceuticals and agro products including potatoes from Bangladesh.
In this regard, both sides welcomed the progress made for early conclusion of bilateral Preferential Trade Agreement for enhancement and facilitation of bilateral trade between Bangladesh and Sri Lanka.
The two sides also discussed the possible new areas of cooperation including food security, ICT, health care and blue economy.
Both the sides also agreed to expedite and complete the negotiations and approval process of pending bilateral instruments for greater benefits of the two peoples and increased bilateral engagements between the two countries.
President Rajapaksa thanked Bangladesh for continued support in various multilateral fora and both sides further agreed to closely work together in the future.
Foreign Minister Momen reiterated his request for continued support of Sri Lanka for immediate repatriation of forcibly displaced Myanmar nationals to their home country with safety and dignity.
Foreign Minister Momen renewed the invitation from the President and the Prime Minister earlier extended to the President of Sri Lanka to visit Bangladesh at a mutually convenient time.
He congratulated the President of Sri Lanka on successful hosting of the BIMSTEC Summit.
The two sides expressed satisfaction over celebration of 50th anniversary of diplomatic relations between the two countries on 4 March 2022.
The Foreign Minister is expected to meet his Bhutanese counterpart later today. He will return to Dhaka on Thursday.
Secretary (East) Mashfee Binte Shams, Rector of Bangladesh Foreign Service Academy Asad Alam Siam and High Commissioner of Bangladesh to Sri Lanka Tareq Md Ariful Islam were also present.
Source: United News of Bangladesh