Sri Lanka, Indonesia target US$ 1 billion trade by 2015

Jan 27, Colombo: During the Joint Commission meeting of Sri Lanka and Indonesia held Thursday the two countries have resolved to increase the bilateral trade to reach a target of US$ 1 billion within the next three years.

The two countries have taken a decision to establish a Working Group on trade and investment to operationalize this goal, Sri Lanka’s External Affairs Ministry said.

Sri Lanka’s External Affairs Minister, Prof. G.L Peiris and his Indonesian counterpart, Dr. Marty Natalegawa, who is on a three-day official visit to Sri Lanka, Thursday held the first meeting of the Joint Commission on Bilateral Cooperation, established in 2007.

The Joint Commission has also decided to convene business forums within this year to strengthen reciprocal interactions among the cooperate sector.

Both ministers have noted that it was a significant occasion in the bilateral relations of the two countries to hold the first Joint Commission meeting on the 60th anniversary year of establishing diplomatic relations between Sri Lanka and Indonesia.

Both sides have emphasized enhancing bilateral cooperation in a number of spheres spanning defence, trade, investments, tourism, culture, agriculture, aquaculture etc.

In a measure to improve the cultural ties and strengthen cooperation in the tourism sector, Indonesia has agreed to Sri Lanka’s request to commence early negotiations to increase flight frequencies to that country.

Addressing the meeting, Prof. Peiris has noted that the Joint Commission has “injected new strength and vitality to a multifaceted relationship.”

The Sri Lankan Minister has briefed his Indonesian counterpart of the tremendous potential for investments in Sri Lanka and invited Indonesia to participate in the Expo 2012 Trade Investment Fair, which, according to the Minister, would act as a stepping stone for the Indonesian business community to explore the many opportunities for trade and investments in Sri Lanka.

Acknowledging the tremendous progress made by Sri Lanka since the end of the conflict in 2009, the Indonesian Foreign Minister who is visiting Sri Lanka for the first time pledged to enhance cooperation with Sri Lanka at all levels, the Ministry said.

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.

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