President Ranil Wickremesinghe has underscored the need to enhance the political, economic and cultural ties between Sri Lanka and Indonesia by reinforcing the Indian Ocean’s identity, during an official meeting with Indonesian President Joko Widodo in Beijing today (17), the President’s Media Division (PMD) reported.

Both leaders are in China to participate in the Belt & Road Forum for International Cooperation. During the meeting, the two leaders engaged in extensive discussions on further strengthening political, cultural and economic ties between the two countries.

Furthermore, they deliberated on the implications of the economic crisis and the palm oil ban on the trade activities connecting the two nations, the PMD said.

President Ranil Wickremesinghe highlighted Sri Lanka’s ongoing efforts to establish free trade agreements with various Asian countries and to formalize the existing agreement with India. In response, the Indonesian President expressed the timeliness of working towards a free trade agreement between Indonesia and Sri Lanka.

The leaders exchanged in-depth insights on global economic and political trends and how they address these challenges as small states in the Asian region.

The event was attended by ministers and officials, with Indonesian Foreign Minister Ms. Retno Marsudi leading the delegation from Indonesia and Minister of Foreign Affairs Ali Sabry, President’s Senior Adviser on National Security and Chief of Presidential Staff Sagala Ratnayaka representing Sri Lanka, according to the PMD.

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