FTA with Sri Lanka in current tenure: Tofail

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DHAKA, August 31, 2017 (BSS) – Commerce minister Tofail Ahmed said Bangladesh will sign free trade agreement (FTA) with Sri Lanka within the current tenure of the present government.

“Terms of reference of a joint study have been finalized and preparations are going on in this regard,” he said after a bilateral meeting with Sri Lankan Development Strategies and International Trade Minister Malik Samarawickrama, MP, in Colombo, said a ministry release here today.

He said Bangladeshi pharmaceuticals, paper, cement, MS rod and agriculture products are of good demand in Sri Lanka, but those items can’t be exported due to high tariff.

Mentioning that the volume of present bilateral trade is between US$ 80 to 90 million, Tofail said: “The volume is very low though there is a huge potentiality.”

He hoped the scenario would change after the signing of FTA.

The commerce minister went to Colombo on August 30 from Bangkok to join “Second Indian Ocean Conference-2017” which is scheduled to be held on August 31 to September 2 with the participation of the representatives from 29 countries.

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