Sri Lanka and Bangladesh to sign agreement to ensure cooperation between Customs
Sri Lanka and Bangladesh are reportedly geared to sign an agreement to promote cooperation between the Customs of the two countries.
The agreement will foster mutual cooperation and administrative assistance on customs activities in between Sri Lanka and Bangladesh with the objectives of evaluating the tariff such as customs duty and other taxes accurately, properly empowering the banning, restricting, and control actions on specific goods by Customs administration, as well as precisely empowering the Customs Law against Customs errors, etc, according to local media reports.
The Cabinet of Ministers has reportedly approved a proposal on the matter submitted by Sri Lanka’s Prime Minister as the Minister of Finance.
The Customs agreement comes after the Cabinet last month approved the commencement of discussions towards finalising a Preferential Trade Agreement (PTA) with Bangladesh.
The government of Sri Lanka reportedly believes that a PTA will boost trade between Sri Lanka and Bangladesh, which is relatively small at US$ 200 million.
The PTA between Sri Lanka and Bangladesh was initiated in March in a bid to strengthen the economic relationship via a free trade pact during Sri Lanka’s Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa’s State visit to Dhaka.
According to reports, both Sri Lanka and Bangladesh act as stakeholder member countries of the SAARC Preferential Trading Arrangement (SAPTA), South Asian Free Trade Area (SAFTA), Global System of trade Preference (GSTP), Asia-Pacific Trade Agreement (APTA) and Bay of Bengal Initiative for Multi-Sectoral Technical and Economic Cooperation (BIMSTEC).
Once finalised, Bangladesh will be the third South Asian country with which Sri Lanka has a free or preferential trade arrangement after India and Pakistan.
Sri Lanka and Bangladesh is in the process of further boosting bilateral and trade ties between the two nations. The two countries are currently in the process of finalising a preferential trade agreement that would further boost Sri Lanka’s trade partner in the South Asian region. Sri Lanka already enjoys functional free trade agreements as well as preferential treatment in business/trade with India and Pakistan. Sri Lanka is therefore the ideal destination to set up base in the South Asian region by foreign businesses/investors interested in doing business in the region. Sri Lanka is fast becoming a business hub in the South Asian region given it’s geographical positioning in the Indian ocean and the many trade agreements as well as trade concessions enjoyed by the country.
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