It (PTA) will allow (Indonesia)  not only to meet Sri Lanka's domestic needs  but also to take maximum advantage of Sri Lanka potential as a hub for trade and part of free trade agreement in the Asian region
Jakarta (ANTARA) - Indonesian Ambassador to Sri Lanka Dewi Gustina Tobing and Sri Lanka Trade Minister Bandula Gunawardane have agreed to push for immediate negotiations on Preferential Trade Agreement (/PTA) between the two countries.

They reached the agreement during a meeting at the office of the Sri Lanka Trade Minister on Friday (Feb 11, 2022), the Indonesian Embassy in Colombo said in a written statement received in Jakarta on Sunday.

It is believed the negotiations on PTA will have a significant impact to enhance economic and trade relations between the two countries.

Hopefully, the PTA will allow more and more Indonesian products to enter the Sri Lanka market, the ambassador said.

"It (PTA) will allow (Indonesia) not only to meet Sri Lanka's domestic needs but also to take maximum advantage of Sri Lanka potential as a hub for trade and part of free trade agreement in the Asian region," she said.

Regarding Sri Lanka's policy restricting and banning the import of non-essential products to the country, the ambassador said she has encouraged the Sri Lanka government to lift the policy so that trade between the two countries will not be disrupted.

Related news: Indonesia agrees to boost cooperation with Bangladesh, Sri Lanka

Trade Minister Lanka Bandula Gunawardane said the import restriction and ban is temporary in nature and will be revoked in the near future.

The ambassador and the minister also discussed efforts to increase trade relations through a joint venture scheme and investment.

The ambassador asked Sri Lanka to give Indonesian palm oil wider access to the Sri Lanka market

While Sri Lanka pays attention to sustainable environment , she said the Indonesian agriculture and plantation also apply environmentally friendly standard and necessitate palm oil products to secure Indonesian Certificate of Sustainable Palm Oil (ISPO).

In response, Minister Bandula expressed his country's wish to import Indonesian palm oil under a credit scheme.

At the meeting, the ambassador also invited Minister Bandula to visit Indonesia to follow up on potentials for trade cooperation between the two nations.

Bandula warmly welcomed the invitation and will consider to visit Indonesia this year, along with a Sri Lanka business delegation.

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

Translator: Yuni Arisandy S, Suharto
Editor: Rahmad Nasution
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