Indonesia, Sri Lanka Explore Bilateral Cooperation Opportunities
President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo Tuesday (10/17) met President of the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka Ranil Wickremesinghe in a bilateral meeting at China World Hotel, Beijing, the People’s Republic of China. In the meeting, both leaders discussed efforts to enhance bilateral cooperation in various sectors.
President Jokowi lauded Sri Lanka’s intention to work towards preferential trade agreement with Indonesia. For the record, Indonesia-Sri Lanka trade volume dropped by 27.5 percent in 2022, so joint efforts are needed to increase trade value between the two countries.
“Therefore, I welcome Sri Lanka’s good intention to make a preferential trade agreement with Indonesia,” he said.
President Jokowi also expressed hope that Sri Lanka can revoke its policy of banning the import of palm oil. He stressed that palm oil is Indonesia’s leading commodity that is produced in compliance with environmental standards.
“I propose for a specific mechanism that aims at reopening access to Sri Lanka’s market for Indonesia’s palm oil,” he firmly said.
According to President Jokowi, a number of Indonesian state-owned enterprises (SOEs) are currently working towards a concrete cooperation with Sri Lanka. He expressed hope that President Wickremesinghe can support this cooperation, including procurement of train cars and electronic passport printing.
President Jokowi and President Wickremesinghe also discussed blue economy cooperation. In that meeting, President Jokowi affirmed Indonesia’s support to Sri Lanka for Indian Ocean Rim Association (IORA) Chairmanship for the period of 2023-2025. He also welcomed Sri Lanka’s interest to become a Sectoral Dialogue Partner of ASEAN.
“Indonesia has just hosted the AIS (Archipelagic and Island States) Forum Summit that served as a platform for archipelagic and island states to work together in producing innovative solutions for a sustainable ocean management,” he said. (BPMI of Presidential Secretariat/AIT)(RAS/MMB)