Sri Lankan President Gotabaya Rajapaksa has offered “greater use” of Colombo port by Bangladesh for transportation of trade goods.
He made the offer when Foreign Minister Dr. A K Abdul Momen paid a courtesy call on him on Wednesday at the Presidential Palace in Colombo, Sri Lanka, the foreign ministry said.
Dr Momen is now staying in Sri Lanka in connection with the 18th BIMSTEC Ministerial Meeting and the 5th BIMSTEC Summit.
He congratulated the President of Sri Lanka on successfully hosting the BIMSTEC Summit. The two sides expressed satisfaction over the celebration of the 50th anniversary of the diplomatic relations between the two countries on 4 March.
Sri Lankan President offered greater use of Colombo port by Bangladesh for transportation of Bangladeshi trade goods.
Foreign Minister drew the attention of the Sri Lankan President to enhance trade and promote tourism by regular commercial shipping line and cruise shipping between Chattogram and Colombo Port.
For further promotion of tourism between the two countries, Foreign Minister underscored the necessity of affordable air ticket prices with enhanced air connectivity in participation with more air lines.
The foreign ministry said President of Sri Lanka deeply appreciated the visionary leadership of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina for the policy of collective prosperity with special focus on counter terrorism and violent extremism.
Foreign Minister urged the President of Sri Lanka to take joint initiatives to fully utilize the trade potentials between Bangladesh and Sri Lanka.
He offered the government of Sri Lanka to explore the possibilities of importing pharmaceuticals and agro products including potatoes from Bangladesh.
In this regard, both sides welcomed the progress made for early conclusion of the bilateral Preferential Trade Agreement for enhancement and facilitation of bilateral trade between Bangladesh and Sri Lanka.
The two sides also discussed the possible new areas of cooperation including food security, ICT, health care and blue economy. Both the sides also agreed to expedite and complete the negotiations and approval process of pending bilateral instruments for greater benefits of the two peoples and increased bilateral engagements between the two countries.
President Rajapaksa thanked Bangladesh for continued support in various multilateral fora and both sides further agreed to closely work together in the future. Foreign Minister Momen reiterated his request for continued support of Sri Lanka for immediate repatriation of forcibly displaced Myanmar nationals to their home country with safety and dignity.
Foreign Minister renewed the invitation from the President and the Prime Minister earlier extended to the President of Sri Lanka to visit Bangladesh at a mutually convenient time.
Foreign Minister is expected to meet his Bhutanese counterpart during his stay. He will return to Dhaka on 31 March.