Indonesia to sign a Preferential Trade Agreement to increase trade with Sri Lanka

Ambassador of the Republic of Indonesia, Dewi Gustina Tobing said her country would like to finalise a Preferential Trade Agreement (PTA) with Sri Lanka to facilitate bilateral trade between the two countries. The Ambassador paid a courtesy call on Prime Minister Dinesh Gunawardena on Tuesday (28) to discuss issues including enhancing cooperation between the two countries in trade, investment, and tourism.

The Ambassador said Exim Bank Indonesia has agreed to grant credit facilities for bilateral trade and the Asian Development Bank has guaranteed 85% of the credit and remaining portion will have to be guaranteed by Sri Lanka. Several pharmaceutical companies are willing to export essential medicines to Sri Lanka under that creditline, she said.

The Prime Minister requested the Ambassador Dewi Tobing to explore potential investments in industries such as pharmaceutical, electrical equipment, solar batteries in export industrial zones in Sri Lanka as many incentives have been offered to foreign investors.

He added that Indonesia’s premier industries like aluminum, rattan furniture and batik could also provide latest knowhow to Sri Lankan industry.

The discussion also explored the future cooperation not only on trading but also partnerships or joint ventures by investing in Sri Lanka. In this case, it will supply the Sri Lankan domestic market and utilize the position of Sri Lanka as an economic hub in the region.

Indonesian Ambassador also urged Sri Lanka to consider the policy on vegetable oil plantations as palm oil is a leading foreign exchange earner for Indonesia. In this conjunction, Ambassador Dewi Tobing conveyed Indonesia’s readiness to discuss and share experiences to develop a sustainable agriculture sector, especially vegetable oil plantations.

Secretary to the Prime Minister, Anura Dissanayake and Indonesian Embassy First Secretary Rasyid Mahmuddin also took part in the discussion.