Bangladesh and Sri Lanka to Begin Negotiations to Sign a Preferential Trade Agreement

16 June 2021

The Government of Bangladesh plans to begin negotiations with Sri Lanka to sign a preferential trade agreement (PTA) by July. Both countries aim to increase their bilateral trade volume.

A trade negotiation committee has been formed for the next steps, reported the Financial Express. On 16 June, it was reported that Sri Lanka’s Cabinet of Ministers also gave approval to commence discussions toward finalizing the PTA with Bangladesh.

In a March 2021 meeting, Sri Lanka Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa and Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina underlined the need for greater bilateral trade. They agreed to work on a bilateral PTA beginning with a short list of products that could promote expanded trade.

Signing PTAs and free trade agreements will support Bangladesh in addressing the challenges of graduating from the least developed country category. Bangladesh signed its first PTA with Bhutan on 6 December 2020.

Bangladesh appointed its Additional Secretary from the Ministry of Commerce as the chief negotiator. The committee from Bangladesh will comprise twelve members, including representatives from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ministry of Industry, National Board of Revenue, Export Promotion Bureau, Bangladesh Trade and Tariff Commission, and Bangladesh High Commission in Colombo, Sri Lanka. They will work in coordination with officials and negotiators appointed by the Government of Sri Lanka.

Sri Lanka’s proposed PTA with Bangladesh will be their third trade agreement with a country from South Asia. Trade agreements have helped enhance Sri Lanka’s bilateral trade with India and Pakistan.

Bangladesh and Sri Lanka are both member countries of the SAARC Preferential Trading Arrangement (SAPTA), South Asian Free Trade Area (SAFTA), Global System of trade Preference (GSTP), Asia-Pacific Trade Agreement (APTA), Bay of Bengal Initiative for Multi-Sectoral Technical and Economic Cooperation (BIMSTEC), and the SASEC program.

 

 

Related links

Dhaka to start negotiations with Colombo to sign PTA

Cabinet nod to start talks on preferential trade deal with Bangladesh 

Research on the impact of cross-border energy trade in Bhutan noted that the country’s electricity exports in 2020...

Read More


The Governments of Bangladesh and India are preparing to conduct comprehensive trial runs for the transshipment of cargo...

Read More


The potential of the Siliguri corridor and its surroundings to be developed as a logistics hub for India’s...

Read More


Bhutan’s Minister for Economic Affairs Loknath Sharma was in New Delhi, India, on 18–21 July 2022. He met...

Read More


The three industrial corridors of Andhra Pradesh, the Chennai - Bengaluru Industrial Corridor (CBIC), Visakhapatnam - Chennai Industrial...

Read More


The Governments of Bhutan and Nepal are expediting the process to sign the bilateral trade agreement. At the...

Read More


Nepal now sells a total of 364 megawatts (MW) of electricity to India through the...

Read More