Indonesia, Sri Lanka discuss follow-up of cooperation on garment exports

Indonesia, Sri Lanka discuss follow-up of cooperation on garment exports

President Jokowi held a meeting with Sri Lankan Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe at Melia Hotel in Hanoi, Vietnam on Wednesday (12/9/2018). (AntaraNews/RI Presidential Secretariat)

Jakarta, (ANTARA News) - President Joko Widodo met Sri Lankan Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe in Hanoi, Vietnam, on Wednesday to follow-up on an agreement at a Colombo meeting, especially in trade, including joint efforts for ready-made garment exports to EU.

Deputy for Protocol, Press, and Media, Presidential Secretariat Bey Machmudin noted in a written statement received here on Wednesday that it was agreed to increase cooperation in trade during a meeting in Colombo in January 2018.

One of the points agreed was joint efforts by Indonesia and Sri Lanka to export ready-made garments to the EU.

During his second day of visit to Vietnam on Wednesday, President Widodo met with Sri Lankan Prime Minister Wickremesinghe at the Melia Hotel, Hanoi.

"The proposal of joint efforts regarding exports of ready-made garments to the European Commission will open up access to the EU market. We must continue our intensive approach to ensure that the proposal is accepted by the European Union," President Widodo remarked.

In addition, the president expected that the formation of working groups between the two countries in the fields of trade and investment would immediately identify the areas of potential and overcome obstacles in trade and investment.

"We must encourage that the initial meeting of the working group can be held as soon as possible," the president remarked.

During a discussion with PM Wickremesinghe, President Widodo also encouraged to immediately start a joint feasibility study on efforts to establish a free trade agreement between Indonesia and Sri Lanka.

Train Export

During the meeting, President Widodo also emphasized Indonesia's commitment to supporting development in Sri Lanka.

In the field of connectivity, for instance, the president touched on Sri Lanka's interest in buying 60 train cars from state-owned train manufacturer PT Industri Kereta Api (INKA).

"Indonesia also offers cooperation in terms of the purchase of train facilities and infrastructure, such as rails, stations, warehouses, and signaling systems," the president remarked.

The head of state also said that PT INKA expressed interest in participating in the steel bridge construction project in Sri Lanka.

During the meeting, President Widodo also lauded Sri Lanka's support for Indonesia as a non-permanent member of the UN Security Council.

The president also praised Sri Lanka's participation in the 2018 Asian Games in Indonesia.

The meeting was also attended by Foreign Minister Retno Marsudi, Cabinet Secretary Pramono Agung, Minister of Industry Airlangga Hartanto, and Minister of Communications and Informatics Rudiantara.

Reporting by Agus Salim
Editing by Azis Kurmala

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