Sri Lanka and Indonesia resolved to set a target for bilateral trade to reach US $ 1 billion by the year 2015.
This was decided at the Joint Commission meeting on Bilateral Cooperation between Sri Lanka and Indonesia chaired by External Affairs Minister, Prof. G.L Peiris and visiting Indonesian Foreign Minister Dr. Marty Natalegawa yesterday.
The Indonesian Foreign Minister is on an official visit to Sri Lanka on the invitation of Prof. Peiris.
Both ministers noted that convening of the first Joint Commission in this historic year of celebrating the 60th year of establishing diplomatic relations was a momentous occasion in the bilateral relations of the two countries. Building on this positive drive emphasis was placed by both parties on enhancing bilateral cooperation in a number of spheres spanning defence, trade, investments, tourism, culture, agriculture, aquaculture etc.
A decision was taken to establish a Working Group on trade and investment to operationalise this goal. In strengthening interactions among the co-operate sector reciprocal Business Forums will also be convened within this year. In consideration of the importance of connectivity to harness cultural ties and in strengthening co-operation in the tourism sector, Indonesia agreed to Sri Lanka’s request to commence early negotiations to increase flight frequencies to that country.
The two countries established a Joint Commission on Bilateral Cooperation in the year 2007. Addressing its first meeting, Prof. Peiris noted that the Joint Commission has “injected new strength and vitality to a multifaceted relationship. Having briefed the Indonesian Foreign Minister of the tremendous potential for investments in Sri Lanka the Minister of External Affairs invited Indonesia to participate in the Expo 2012 Trade & Investment Fair which would act as a stepping stone for the Indonesian business community to explore the many opportunities for trade and investments in Sri Lanka.
The Indonesian Foreign Minister who is visiting Sri Lanka for the first time pledged to enhance cooperation with Sri Lanka at all levels. He acknowledged the tremendous progress made by Sri Lanka since the end of the conflict in 2009.
Prof. Peiris also handed over an invitation by President Mahinda Rajapaksa to Indonesian President Dr. Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono to undertake a State Visit to Sri Lanka among many other events that have been scheduled to commemorate the 60th year of establishing Diplomatic relations between the two countries.
Deputy Minister and Secretary of External Affairs and Ambassador of Sri Lanka in Indonesia assisted to success of this historic event.