Colombo, March 27 (newsin.asia) – Sri Lanka has called for stronger maritime and air links with Bangladesh to boost bilateral trade as well as Foreign Direct Investments between the two nations, the Commerce and Industry Ministry said in a statement here Tuesday.
The Ministry said that while the Ports of Hambantota, in the south and Colombo were of vital importance to the maritime industry due to its strategic location in the Indian Ocean, there could now be strong linkages between these Ports and the Port of Chittagong in Bangladesh in order to facilitate shipping, tourism and investments.
In addition, the Ministry said more frequent direct air links between Colombo and Dhaka too shall strengthen economic cooperation, investment promotion, tourism and people-to-people contacts.
“Expansion of air-links would bring more opportunities to entrepreneurs and investors of the two countries too,” Commerce and Industry Minister, Rishad Bathiudeen said.
“As neighbouring members of the Bay of Bengal region, both countries have many commonalities. Our common cultural affinities and historical links have immensely nourished our modern day inter-state relations,” Minister Bathiudeen added.
The Minister said that in recent years, Sri Lanka’s bilateral trade with Bangladesh had seen a surge and within the past five years, total trade increased by 55 percent to US $ 166 million.
In 2017, trade between Sri Lanka and Bangladesh had increased by 17 percent to US 166 million dollars in comparison to 2016’s US 142 million dollars.
In 2017, apparels, plastics, and petroleum products were Sri Lanka’s leading exports to Bangladesh.