Dhaka, Bangladesh
Dhaka to sign FTAs with Lanka, Brazil soon: Tofail

Dhaka to sign FTAs with Lanka, Brazil soon: Tofail

News Report Bangladesh is likely to ink free-trade agreements (FTAs) with Sri Lanka and Brazil as soon as possible to boost bilateral trade with the two countries. Commerce Minister Tofail Ahmed said Bangladesh and Sri Lanka have agreed to sign the proposed free-trade agreement (FTA) as soon as possible to boost bilateral trade. “Feasibility study for the FTA has already been done and the government is working to sign the deal within its current tenure,” he added. The commerce minister stated this after a view- exchange meeting with visiting Sri Lankan Development Strategic and International Trade Minister Malik Samarawickrama at his secretariat office Thursday afternoon, said a press release. Tofail told the Sri Lankan minister that Bangladeshi businessmen were keen to set up cement and paper factory in Sri Lanka as well as export jewelry, construction materials and pharmaceuticals items. “But to go ahead with this move, bilateral agreement is needed,” he added. Replying to the commerce minister, Malik said Sri Lanka also wanted to increase trade and business with Bangladesh. Malik hoped that within shortest possible time Bangladesh-Sri Lanka trade would boost up and the FTA would ease the bilateral trade. Commerce Secretary Shubhashish Bose, Bangladesh high commissioner to Sri Lanka Riaz Hamidullah, additional secretary (FTA) M Safiqul Islam, Sri Lankan high commissioner in Dhaka Crisanthe De Silva, business delegation of Sri Lanka and officials concerned were present. Another report adds: Commerce Minister Tofail Ahmed on Sunday said Bangladesh and Brazil have agreed to form a joint chamber of commerce and sign a Free Trade Agreement (FTA) to boost bilateral trade and commerce. “The businessmen of the two countries will be inspired in trade and communication among them will increase after formation of the Brazil- Bangladesh Chamber,” he told journalists after a view exchange meeting with Brazil Ambassador in Dhaka Joao Tabajara de Oliveira Jonior at the Secretariat recently. Brazil is a potential market for Bangladesh’s garments, but Bangladesh cannot export as per its expectation due to high tariff, Tofail said, adding that the country would get trade facilities from Brazil after signing FTA. Brazil Envoy Joao Tabajara de Oliveira Jonior said, “Bangladesh and Brazil are friendly countries. Both countries have been maintaining trade relations for long”. Brazil is keen to boost trade with Bangladesh, he said, underscoring the need for forming a chamber and signing a FTA involving businessmen of the both countries to this end. Senior Secretary of the Commerce Ministry Shubhashish Bose and Additional Secretary (TO) Md Obaidul Azam were present on the occasion

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