Indonesia and Sri Lanka agreed to work together with a focus on economic and trade cooperation. In addition, President Joko Widodo and Sri Lanka President Maithripala Sirisena also paid great attention to capacity building cooperation, and Indo Pacific cooperation.
In the field of economy and trade, President Jokowi pushes the economies of the two countries become more competitive. This was conveyed by President Jokowi in a bilateral meeting with Sri Lankan President Maithripala Sirisena at the Presidential Secretariat, Colombo, Sri Lanka, on the afternoon of January 24, 2018.
"One of them is through the establishment of Free Trade Agreement (FTA). And I'm excited because the FTA assessment has started, "said President Jokowi.
President Jokowi asked FTA negotiations to be done gradually starting with Trade in Goods (TIGs) negotiations. Given that Indonesia has made such arrangements with some countries, President Jokowi expects FTA-TIGs negotiations to be completed in no more than 2 years.
"I welcome the agreement to form Trade and Investment Working Group," said President Jokowi.
The Working Group is tasked with addressing and overcoming trade and investment barriers and in parallel negotiating trade agreements.
Indonesia also welcomes the "Cross Regional Cumulation" cooperation in the tobacco sector that has been in effect since 2014 and expects the same arrangements to be made for fabrics.
The President also expressed Indonesia's readiness to participate in infrastructure development in Sri Lanka. One of the contents of the discussion that will be followed up is the plan of PT INKA to export passenger cars / goods to Sri Lanka.
In addition, Sri Lanka is one of Indonesia's priority countries in capacity building cooperation. Therefore, President Jokowi proposed cooperation in disaster management and education.
"As fellow countries vulnerable to natural disasters, both countries need to strengthen cooperation to improve preparedness and awareness, and disaster impact management," said President Jokowi.
Meanwhile, for cooperation in the Indian Ocean region. President Jokowi sees there is a huge economic potential there. Indonesia and Sri Lanka can contribute to the realization of a peaceful, stable and prosperous Indian Ocean Region. It is also time for the Indian Ocean circle to be associated with the Pacific Ocean of Indo-Pacific cooperation.
"This Indo-Pacific cooperation should be open and transparent; inclusive; and respect international law. This cooperation should also be based on mutual trust (confidence building) and habit of dialogue, "said the President.
The architecture of the area would be good if it was built through the building blocks approach.
"This is where the role of IORA where Indonesia and Sri Lanka become members, becomes important," said the President.
Meanwhile, upon arrival at the Presidential Secretariat at 6 pm Local Time, President Jokowi and First Lady Iriana Joko Widodo were greeted by President Sirisena and Mrs. Jayanthi Pushpa Sirisena in front of the ceremony grounds. After that, President Jokowi and President Sirisena headed for Honorary Dais to attend a state ceremony.
In the evening, President and Mrs. Iriana attended a state dinner at President's House.
Also present was accompanying President Jokowi and Mrs. Iriana, Coordinating Minister for Economic Affairs Darmin Nasution, Foreign Minister Retno Marsudi, Cabinet Secretary Pramono Anung, Special Staff Coordinator of President Teten Masduki, Indonesian Ambassador to Sri Lanka I Gusti Ngurah Ardiyasa, Head of Anti Narcotics Agency-BNN Komjen Budi Waseso and the Head of BNPP (Basarnas) Marshal Madya TNI Muhammad Syaugi.// (Release Division of Protocol, Press and Media Secretariat of the President)