Indonesia grants visa free entry to Sri Lankans | Daily News

Indonesia grants visa free entry to Sri Lankans

Members of the Sri Lanka – Indonesia Business Council with the Indonesia Ambassador in Sri Lanka.

 

Indonesia says it is now offering visa free entry to Sri Lankans in a bid to help enhance commercial activities between the two countries.

"We will offer visa free entry to Sri Lankans visiting Indonesia and it will last for 30 days,' said Harimawan Suyitno, Indonesian ambassador in Sri Lanka. He made this announcement, while speaking at the Sri Lanka - Indonesia Business Forum, held recently. The forum was jointly organized by the Indonesian High Commission in Sri Lanka and the Sri Lanka - Indonesia Business Council of the Ceylon Chamber of Commerce.

The event held in Colombo aimed at exploring trade and investment opportunities between the two nations and the main focus was on exploring possible cooperation in the areas of agribusiness.

Accordingly, a presentation on 'Exploring the Cooperation in Agribusiness Industry' was conducted by Rochmi Widjajanti, a senior official of the Ministry of Industry of the Republic of Indonesia.

Trade between Sri Lanka and Indonesia during 2015 totalled a sum of US$ 465 million, with the trade balance hugely favouring Indonesia amounting to a sum of US$ 400 million. Sri Lanka's main exports to Indonesia are tobacco and apparel clothing, while Indonesia's main exports to Sri Lanka are salt, sulphur, paper items, minerals and cooking oil items etc.

The Daily News Business last week exclusively reported that Indonesia was to offer visa free entry to Sri Lankans.

The move by Indonesia would put tremendous pressure on both Malaysia and Thailand to follow suit. Several questions are being asked by travel agents and travelers especially on the strict and strenuous visa procedure adopted by Malaysian Embassy.

"They even ask for house and land deeds and huge bank balances which makes the entire process daunting and unrealistic. This lethargic attitude towards issuing visas has resulted in a state of stagnation in the movement of people of these friendly counties and is a bane to promoting tourism and trade.

Both Malaysia and Thailand had offered visa free entry to Sri Lankans in the past but later withdrawn the facility for no apparent reason. 


 

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