Sri Lanka Bangladesh Relation

Diplomatic relations between Sri Lanka and Bangladesh were formally established in 1972 and the Sri Lanka High Commission in Bangladesh was set up in June 1979. Sri Lanka and Bangladesh celebrated 50 years of Diplomatic Relations in 2022.

All Sri Lankan Heads of State and Government since 1979 have made official visits to Bangladesh. Prime Minister Khalida Zia visited Sri Lanka in January 1995. President Chandrika Bandaranaike Kumaratunga, then President of Sri Lanka made a reciprocal state visit to Bangladesh in March 1995. Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina last visited Sri Lanka in 2013 to attend the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM). Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa visited Bangladesh in March 2021, further strengthening the growing bilateral relations.

Significant Bilateral Agreements signed between two Countries.

  • General Trade Agreement in February 1977
  • Cultural Agreement on 29 June 1979
  • Economic and Technical Cooperation Agreement on 06th November 1979
  • Shipping Agreement on 07 November 1979
  • Avoidance of Double Taxation Agreement on 19 December 1992
  • Air service Commercial Agreement on 19 December 1992
  • Joint Commission for Economic Cooperation set up in February 1985

Many of the above agreements are being updated to suit the present needs of the two countries..

Bangladesh and Sri Lanka are prominent members of regional organisations which include SAARC, BIMSTEC and IORA and world bodies such as the UN, NAM and Commonwealth which share many commonalties. Both countries have not only fostered good bilateral relations but also shares similar views on many regional and global issues in the international arena.

Sri Lankan professionals approximately 2500 to 3500 are working in Dhaka and Chittagong especially in the fields of garment, freight forwarding, banking, medicine, information technology, manufacturing, logistics, education, telecommunication, IT and health sectors.

Being a strategic port and a regional trading hub Bangladesh is an important trading partner to Sri Lanka. Easy access and low cost of labour compared to the other countries in the region have helped Bangladesh to gain popularity as a reliable supply source among the Sri Lankan businessmen.

Many Bangladeshi companies in their phase of extending activities to overseas have identified Sri Lanka as another destination to setup their branches and manufacturing plants. There are also Bangladeshi companies that have engaged in the construction industry and other infrastructure development projects.

The donation of the Hair Relic of Buddha in 2007 strengthened the ties of Buddhists in both countries who follow Theravada Buddhism.

The Bangladesh government provides Military Training to Sri Lanka’s Defence staff in diversified fields. Many Sri Lankan students are enrolled in Bangladesh’s government and private medical colleges and these placements are offered annually.