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 Bangladesh to use services at H’tota port

Magam Ruhunupura Mahinda Rajapaksa Port

Sri Lanka has requested Bangladesh to use the seaport at Hambantota, Bangladesh Finance Minister A M A Muhith said.

“Let’s explore the benefit, since Hambantota port users wouldn’t need to go inside Colombo. That will help save time,” the Bangladesh minister said at the conclusion of the fourth round of Bangladesh - Sri Lanka Joint Economic Commission (JEC) meeting which ended in Dhaka on Thursday with a call to further expand cooperation between the two nations. During the joint commission, both sides agreed that there was much scope to enhance bilateral relations in various fields.

Minister Muhith led the Banladesh team while Industry and Commerce Minister Rishad Bathiyutheen led the Sri Lankan team. Expressing hope of much better cooperation among the two countries in the future, the Bangladesh minister said despite 30 years of trouble, Sri Lanka has done well in economic and human development. “Sri Lankan resilience power has increased so high that even the Wall Street crash couldn’t touch it,” he said.

Minister Bathiyutheen said the two countries maintain very friendly relations.

He urged Bangladesh businessmen to invest in Sri Lanka and enjoy facilities offered by the government.

He said the two sides have agreed to further enhance bilateral trade and cooperation in the fields of commerce, industry, agriculture, shipping, civil aviation and tourism, ICT and education.

The minister said bilateral trade between the two nations is only US$71 million which can be increased manifold.

He also requested the Bangladesh business community for joint venture investment in pharmaceuticals, textile, apparel, ICT and the hospitality industry.

The next round of Joint Economic Commission will be held in Colombo.

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