Bangladesh's High Commissioner Riaz Hamid-ullah is confident about signing the FTA with Sri Lanka this year. Riaz says, the Bangladeshi ministry is now in discussion with the Ministry of Development Strategies and International Trade. They are now engaged in a joint study to determine the scope, modalities and sectors of the agreement. Once this is done they will develop joint recommendations for the formulation of the agreement. The proposed FTA is largely focused on service sector not goods and targeted at logging into the international supply chain. This should go beyond bilateral trade between the two countries.
The High Commissioner also invited proposals and recommendations for the FTA from the business council. Speaking of development of his country's economy and infrastructure, Hamidullah noted trade with Bangladesh were not limited to its market but connected to global and regional trade. “Bangladesh is becoming more connected in its economic landscape and its physical landscape is also becoming a lot smoother, connecting the country to the regional market,” he added.
The good relations the two countries shared and the facilitation extended to Sri Lankan investors by the different governing authorities has made the country an excellent option for investment-related partnerships. The investment of $100 million by LAUGFS Gas (Bangladesh) in the Mongla Port was testimony to the good investment opportunities present in Bangladesh for Sri Lankan investors, he claimed.