Indonesia – Sri Lanka Preferential Trade Agreement to get off the ground


Indonesia and Sri Lanka have started discussions on a Preferential Trade Agreement (PTA) to boost bilateral trade, noted Indonesian Ambassador to Sri Lanka, Dewi Gustina Tobing. At a forum organised by the National Chamber of Commerce Sri Lanka (NCCSL) , Tobing welcomed the local private sector to utilise the huge market of Indonesia and also to benefit by importing quality but cheap intermediate goods, raw materials fo production.

He said Indonesia is one of the five biggest contributors to the global economy with a GDP of USD 1.15 trillion.  Indonesia’s digital economy is expected to reach USD 150 billion by 2025.

Tobing added “2022 marks 70 years of diplomatic relations between Indonesia and Sri Lanka.

Bilateral trade between the two countries in 2021 is USD 433 million, where Indonesian exports to Sri Lanka are USD 379 million. Sri Lanka need not take it as a trade surplus in Indonesia’s favour. Indonesia has an abundance of natural minerals and raw materials. Sri Lanka can import raw material and intermediate goods from Indonesia to produce globally competitive products. In that way, Indonesia will become Sri Lanka’s partner in global trade.”

Tobing welcomed the Sri Lankan private sector to participate in the Trade Expo Indonesia Fair to be held in October 2022.

The Indonesian Omnibus Law passed in October 2020, has reduced red tape for foreign investors, Tobing said.

Speaking about the  Corona virus, the Ambassador said the Indonesian economy was able to recover soon because of its large domestic market. With regard to the Sri Lankan economic crises, Tobing said  bilateral trade between the two countries has reduced 14% so far this year compared to last year.

By Rajiesh Seetharam