President Ranil Wickremesinghe underscored the need to enhance the political, economic, and cultural ties between Sri Lanka and Indonesia by reinforcing the Indian Ocean’s identity.
He made these observations during an official meeting with Indonesian President Joko Widodo in Beijing today (17).
Both leaders are in China to participate in the Belt and 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. President Ranil Wickremesinghe highlighted Sri Lanka’s ongoing efforts to establish free trade agreements with various Asian
countries and to formalise the existing agreement with India.

In response, the Indonesian president expressed his timeline for 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.