Sri Lanka seeks Bangladesh investment in pharmaceutical industry

DHAKA, Feb 11, 2017 (BSS)- Visiting Sri Lankan Industry and Commerce Minister Rishad Bathiudeen has called upon the Bangladeshi investors to invest in pharmaceutical industry in Sri Lanka.

"Bangladeshi pharmaceuticals are of international standard which are being exported to more than 200 countries," he said while meeting with Dhaka Chamber of Commerce and Industry (DCCI) team led by its president Abul Kasem Khan at Sonargaon Hotel here on February 9, said a press release.

Rishad Bathiudeen led the Sri Lanka Bangladesh Chamber of Commerce and Industry (SLBCCI) team. Among others, Sri Lankan High Commissioner in Dhaka Yasoja Gunasekera and SLBCCI President Najith Meewanage were present in the meeting.

Despite having good relation between Bangladesh and Sri Lanka, DCCI President Abul Kasem Khan said, bilateral trade between Bangladesh and Sri Lanka is far from Bangladesh's expectation.

"In 2015-2016, Bangladesh imported from Sri Lanka for only US$45.016 million as against US$30.45 million exported to Sri Lanka," he added.

In order to deepen existing level of bilateral trade, sensitive products list under South Asian Free Trade Area (SAFTA) needs to be revised, he said.

He also underscored the need for direct marine connectivity between Chittagong and Mongla ports with Colombo and Trincomalee ports.

He invited Sri Lankan investors to invest in gas-based industry, power, fertilizer, backward linkage of Ready Made Garments (RMG), leather and leather goods, ICT, education and tourism sector.

Rishad Bathiudeen said Bangladesh can initiate the process of signing a Free Trade Agreement (FTA) with Sri Lanka.

He invited Bangladeshi businessmen to organize 'single country trade fair' in Sri Lanka to familiarize Bangladeshi products in Sri Lanka.

Source: Bangladesh Sangbad Sangstha (BSS)