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* Sri Lanka, Indonesia to expedite negotiations on a preferential trade agreement
Mon, Aug 7, 2017, 07:12 pm SL Time, ColomboPage News Desk, Sri Lanka.

Aug 07, Manila: Sri Lanka and Indonesia have decided to further intensify efforts in political, economic, developmental, cultural, security related cooperation as well as cooperation in regional and international fora.

The two countries agreed to enhance bilateral cooperation during discussions held between Sri Lanka's State Minister of Foreign Affairs Vasantha Senanayake and Indonesia's Foreign Minister Retno L.P. Marsudi on Saturday (5 August) in Manila.

The two ministers also considered ways and means to achieve concrete results in light of the recent elevation of the bilateral engagement through highest political level interactions including the recently concluded State Visit of President Maithripala Sirisena.

During the discussions both Ministers agreed to expedite the negotiations for the Preferential Trade Agreement (PTA), as being a step towards signing an eventual Free Trade Agreement (FTA) in the future.

State Minister Senanayake also conveyed Sri Lanka's desire to intensify Sri Lanka's cooperation with ASEAN including as a future Sectoral Dialogue Partner.

The State Minister of Foreign Affairs is in the Philippines to represent Sri Lanka at the Grand Celebration of the 50th Anniversary of ASEAN and the 24th ASEAN Regional Forum (ARF).

State Minister Senanayake also held bilateral discussions with Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Lao PDR Saleumxay Kommasith, Minister of State for Foreign Affairs, Myanmar U Kyaw Tin and Senior Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation of Cambodia Prak Sokhonn on the sidelines of the Forum.

During discussions, Myanmar and Sri Lanka have agreed to take steps to further elevate the good cooperation between the two countries in the areas of tourism, education and technical training as well as Defense and maritime cooperation.

During the meeting with Cambodia's Foreign Minister, initiatives relating to economic and trade, tourism, education cooperation and the long standing cultural cooperation and Buddhist linkages were discussed.

Associated with State Minister Senanayake in the discussions were MP Buddhika Pathirana, Sri Lanka's and Ambassador to the Philippines Mrs. Aruni Ranaraja.


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