By:Staff WriterColombo (LNW):Indonesia is set to enhance cooperation in the field of employment with Sri Lanka. Indonesian Manpower Minister Ida Fauziyah disclosed on Tuesday.
The two countries have enjoyed bilateral relations for more than 70 years, she noted in Jakarta. Currently, bilateral cooperation between the two countries is increasing, especially in the fields of economy, trade, and investment, as well as people-to-people.
“Even though Indonesia and Sri Lanka specifically do not yet have a cooperation in the field of manpower, we are open to exchanging information and perspectives on employment,” she said while receiving a visit from the Ambassador of the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka to Indonesia, Jayanath Siri Kumara Colombage.
Fauziyah revealed that Ambassador Colombage’s visit to the Ministry of Manpower was in the context of increasing cooperation between Indonesia and Sri Lanka in the labor sector.
“It is hoped that the meeting with Ambassador Jayanath will provide information and views regarding employment developments in the two countries,” she said.
While speaking to Ambassador Colombage, Fauziyah also expressed concern over the ongoing economic crisis in Sri Lanka due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
She expressed the belief that by expanding international relations to gain support, Sri Lanka can gradually recover from the difficult situation caused by the pandemic.
Indonesian Ambassador to Sri Lanka Mrs. Dewi Gustina Tobing, has said that her country will support the Sri Lankan government’s program to rebuild the country’s collapsed economy.
The Ambassador said that her country would support the government’s program to rebuild the economy of Sri Lanka and that she would work to further improve the political and cultural relations between the two countries in the future.
Negotiations on the Indonesia-Sri Lanka Preferential Trade Agreement (ISL-PTA) will begin soon as both countries see the enormous potential to boost bilateral trade, said Ambassador of the Republic of Indonesia, Dewi Gustina Tobing recently.
Referring to a timeline Tobing said discussion on the PTA hopefully will start this year as both countries have shown great eagerness on the trade agreement.
“The PTA is vital for both countries to enhance cooperation especially in the economic sectors, including trade and industry,” the Ambassador said.
Trade between Sri Lanka and Indonesia has been in favour of Indonesia with the value of trade between both countries being around US$ 473 million in 2021.
Sri Lanka’s exports were around $ 53 million while imports from Indonesia were at $420 million. Indonesia was the ninth export destination of Sri Lanka in the same year with fabrics accounting for around 26.4 percent of the total exports to the East Asian nation.
Indonesia will explore future cooperation not only on trading but also partnerships and joint ventures by investing in Sri Lanka.
Fertilizer is one major area that we could look at investing in Sri Lanka while enhancing collaborations in the industrial sector, the Ambassador said, adding that Indonesia as done in the past will continue to support Sri Lanka especially during the present tough times to overcome the economic crisis.
Ambassador Tobing conveyed Indonesia’s interest to share expertise to boost the Sri Lankan agriculture sector, especially vegetable oil plantations.Indonesia provided USD 1.6 million worth pharmaceutical aid to Sri Lanka in March this year.