Trade Integration Between Bangladesh and Sri Lanka is a Pathway for Shared Prosperity – Dr Asanka Wijesinghe
04 March 2022
Trade integration between Bangladesh and Sri Lanka is a vital pathway for shared prosperity, IPS Research Fellow Dr Asanka Wijesinghe asserted. He was speaking at a panel discussion organised to mark 50 years of diplomatic relations between Bangladesh and Sri Lanka held at the Lakshman Kadirgamar Institute of International Relations and Strategic Studies (LKI) in Colombo.
Dr Wijesinghe also remarked that the economic rationale for a preferential trade agreement (PTA) is trivial from the traditional perspective of trading finished goods. However, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka can trade semi-finished or intermediate goods used in the ready-made garment sector. Such an approach will facilitate the utilisation of comparative advantages, scale economies, and factor cost advantages. Thus, a PTA may be negotiated between Bangladesh and Sri Lanka based on offensive lists, including products that would maximise the trade gains from a PTA.
The other panellists were: HE Tareq Ariful Islam, High Commissioner of Bangladesh to Sri Lanka; Prof Sudharshan Seneviratne, High Commissioner of Sri Lanka to Bangladesh; and Ambassador Kazi Imitiaz Hossain, Chairman, Bangladesh Institute of International and Strategic Studies. Dr Dayantha Laksiri Mendis, Executive Director, LKI, moderated the panel.