Indonesian President Joko Widodo says his country is ready to provide technical assistance to Sri Lanka for the development of medical equipment manufacturing, railway industry as well as for the advancement of the education field.
He further said that he will look into the possibilities of establishing a railway equipment manufacturing company in Sri Lanka.
The Indonesian President made these remarks when he met with President Maithripala Sirisena at the Presidential Secretariat, yesterday (24). Indonesian President Joko Widodo visited the country on a two-day state visit, on an invitation extended by President Sirisena.
It is significant that an Indonesian President visited Sri Lanka after of 38 years, since the former Indonesian President Sukarnos visit to the country in 1979.
The Indonesian President Joko Widodo and the First Lady, Iriana Joko Widodo were welcomed warmly by President Maithripala Sirisena and First Lady Jayanthi Sirisena when they arrived at the Presidential Secretariat. The welcome included a guard of honor and a gun salute.
Bilateral discussions were held after a cordial meeting between the two leaders.
Both leaders discussed on three main sectors and key priority was given for further strengthening of economic cooperation between the two countries, development of individual and institutional capacities and enhancement of India Pacific Islands Co-operation.
During this meeting, the leaders drew their attention to sign a Free Trade Agreement to promote bilateral trade between the two countries.
Since the last few years, Sri Lanka has become an advantageous investment environment for entrepreneurs, and the President requested the Indonesian President to encourage Indonesian entrepreneurs to explore the investment opportunities in Sri Lanka.
The leaders also discussed further strengthening of the cooperation in the garment sector.
The Indonesian President paid his special attention to the request made by the President to provide assistance to Sri Lanka to utilize marine resources around Sri Lanka in a productive manner for the economic development of the country.
The two leaders discussed regarding the enhancement of cooperation between the security forces of the two countries, especially in conducting training related to the defence field and cadet exchange programmes. President Sirisena said that there is a possibility of providing an opportunity for the special forces of Indonesian Navy to participate in military course held in Trincomalee.
The Indonesian Presidents visit to Sri Lanka is a unique opportunity for the two countries to further consolidate ties between the two countries, President Sirisena said and expressed his gratitude for the hospitality extended to him during his visit to Indonesia in March last year.
The President Sirisena thanked his Indonesian counterpart for donating 5,000 metric tons of Rice, when there was a shortage of rice due to droughts in 2017.
The two countries celebrate the 65th anniversary of diplomatic relations between Indonesia and Sri Lanka this year and the two leaders recalled the development of bilateral ties and cooperation in political, cultural, economical trade, military, and tourism fields during the past six and a half decades.
President Sirisena recalled that the Bandung Conference held in 1955, which paved way for building the Non-aligned movement, which laid the foundation for a new movement of solidarity among newly liberated countries.
The President who brought back memories of the strong connection shared by the two countries said that two countries work with solid cooperation in the Indian Ocean Rim Association (IORA).
The President asked the Indonesian President to support Sri Lankas application to become a dialogue partner in ASEAN.
The President of Indonesia said that his countries expects Sri Lankas cooperation to enhance cooperation between the countries in the Indian Ocean and Pacific Ocean region.
After bilateral discussions three agreements were signed to enhance cooperation. The agreements were signed in the presence of the leaders.
An MoU on Higher Education, Research and Technology Cooperation, MoU on Prevention of Illegal Drug Trafficking, and a MoU on Search and Rescue Missions were signed.
Prime Minister Ranil Wickeremesinghe, Ministers Nimal Siripala de Silva, Lakshman Kiriella, John Amaratunga, Tilak Marapana, Malik Samarawickrma, Mahinda Amaraweera, Sagala Ratnayaka and D.M.Swaminathan, and Secretary to the President, Austin Fernando were present during the bilateral meeting.