Bangladesh, Lanka sign 14 instruments
Posted on July 14th, 2017

By Mizan Rahman/Dhaka Courtesy  Gulf Times

Bangladesh and Sri Lanka yesterday signed 14 instruments beginning a ‘historic journey’ in their bilateral relations as the Sri Lankan president termed his visit to Bangladesh a ‘historic one.
The instruments – one agreement and 13 memorandums of understanding (MoUs) – were signed to strengthen co-operation between the two countries in the areas of economy, agriculture, shipping, higher education, information and technology and media.
Sri Lankan President Maithripala Sirisena and Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina witnessed the signing of the instruments at the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) following a bilateral meeting between the two leaders.

Bangladesh and Sri Lanka also agreed to sign free trade agreement (FTA) by this year, aiming to further strengthen bilateral trade co-operation.
After the signing, Foreign Secretary Shahidul Haque briefed reporters.
The foreign secretary said the FTA with Sri Lanka would be Bangladesh’s first such deal with any country and necessary study would be done prior to signing of the agreement.
The lone agreement on visa waiver for diplomatic and official passport holders of the two countries was signed by Home Minister Asaduzzaman Khan and Sri Lankan Foreign
Minister Ravi Karunanayake.
He said that if the FTA was inked it would help Bangladesh sign such FTAs with other countries. He also mentioned that there are some FTAs in the pipeline.
To me, this is a big political process towards trade and investment between the two countries,” he added.
About signing of 14 instruments and deals after the official talks, Haq said seven of these were on trade and investment which means that the two sides highly focused on boosting trade relations.
About the MoU on agriculture co-operation, Haq said Sri Lanka wants to develop its agriculture sector taking lessons from Bangladesh’s tremendous success.
Pointing out the co-operation on higher education, he said a large number of medical students from Sri Lanka are studying in Bangladesh and the two sides signed the MoU to further enhance co-operation in the sector.
Besides, an agreement on visa rebate of the official and diplomatic passport holders was also signed, aiming to make official level consultations more effective, he added.

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