The Forth Session of the Bangladesh-Sri Lanka Joint Commission on Economic Cooperation was held in Dhaka from 07 to 08March 2012. Bangladesh- Sri Lanka Joint Commission for Economic Cooperation last met as far back as 1993 at the third session which was held in Colombo. At the 4th Session, the Sri Lanka delegation was led by Hon. RishadBathiyutheen, Minister of Industry and Commerce while the Bangladesh delegation was led by Hon. AbulMaal A. Muhith, Minister of Finance.
By welcoming the Sri Lanka delegation Hon. Minister of Finance recalled the friendly relations between two countries go beyond the bilateral level as both countries continue to collaborate closely at the regional and global levels particularly under the umbrella of SAARC. Hon. RishadBathiudeen, stated that Sri Lanka is committed to continue to work closely with Bangladesh as a trusted friend and partner in both SAFTA and STAIS.
The Joint Economic Commission held two plenary meetings. The first plenary meeting was addressed by the leaders of the two delegations. The Officials of the two sides held working sessions on specific subjects for expanding bilateral cooperation. The both sides agreed that there was much scope to enhance bilateral relations in various fields. During the meeting two sides have agreed to further enhance bilateral trade and cooperation in the fields of commerce, industry, agriculture, health, Shipping, civil aviation, education, tourism and ICT. Two sides agreed to undertake measures for trade facilitation, including identification and removal of non-tariff barriers and simplification and harmonization of mutually recognized standards which would ease to attain expected level of trade growth.
At the end of two day Meeting a Joint press briefing which was co-chaired by the two ministers was held at the National Economic Council. The meeting has agreed to explore the possibility of enhancing bilateral trade and to advance ties and cooperation between two countries. By addressing the press Hon. Muhirh stressed that Sri lanka can invest in different fields in Bangladesh particularly in education and health sectors, he said appraising the Sri Lankan achievement in economic growth and human development. During that, the officials of the Bangladesh Economic Relation Division urged Sri Lankan delegation to invest more in textiles, leather, agro based industries, steel and engineering sectors in Bangladesh. Hon. RishadBathiudeen invited Bangladeshi investors to Sri Lanka briefing that the progress of current ongoing infrastructure development in Sri Lanka. He agreed to explore the ways of increasing bilateral trade volume by diversifying exportable products. Hon. Minister of Finance stated that the meeting has agreed to increase pharmaceutical products export to Sri Lanka and set up a pharmaceutical plant in Sri Lanka through a joint venture with Bangladesh. He further noted that Sri Lanka offered Bangladesh to use its newly built deep seaport at Hambantota.
The 4th Session of the Bangladesh-Sri Lanka Joint Commission on Economic Cooperation concluded in Dhaka with a hope of much better cooperation between two countries would be developed in future.