Sri Lankan FM assures signing of coastal shipping agreement soon

Sri Lankan foreign minister Dinesh Gunawardena has assured Bangladesh about signing a coastal shipping agreement (CSA) soon to cut transshipment costs and reduce travel time between the two countries.

According to the initial plan, the agreement would be signed to expedite business between Chattogram port and Sri Lanka’s Colombo port.

The Sri Lankan minister gave this assurance while Bangladesh high commissioner Md Riaz Hamidullah met him in Colombo on Monday.

Issues of coastal shipping agreement and a free trade agreement (FTA) between Bangladesh and Sri Lanka got special attention during the meeting, diplomatic sources said.

Dinesh Gunawardena said transshipment between the two countries and businesses would be expedited once the CSA signed.

The agreement would also facilitate transshipment in India’s southeastern states, Nepal and other south and southeast Asian countries, the Sri Lankan minister said.

Bangladesh and Sri Lanka finalised the draft of the coastal shipping agreement last year but it is yet to be signed.

High commissioner Riyaz Hamidullah requested Sri Lanka to implement FTA.

Sri Lanka to export textile fabrics from Bangladesh

Meanwhile, Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA) and Joint Apparel Association Forum (JAAF) of Sri Lanka have signed a memorandum of understanding in Dhaka on Sunday. Under the MoU, both the countries agreed to help each other in the RMG sector in European countries.

The visiting JAAF delegations also met Export Promotion Bureau and Bangladesh Textile Mills Association (BTMA) officials. The Sri Lankan businessmen proposed to export textile fabrics from Bangladesh.