Indonesia-Sri Lanka Relations 2024: What Next – OpEd


Indonesia and Sri Lanka, are bound by a rich tapestry of history and shared values. This essay explores the current dynamics of their bilateral partnership, highlights key areas where they cooperate closely and will potentially have some degree shaded by challenge; but offers also an optimistic view for even further development yet to come throughout many years ahead. We argue that Indonesia and Sri Lanka, despite their separation in space, enjoy a mutually beneficial relationship strategically made possible due to historical ties and shared interest (commitment) towards regional stability. This vision will not only bear fruits now but also nourish those thoughts for generations that will follow after ours as well as our own more immediate day-to-day interactions on this planet Earth.

The basis of this close relationship is deep. Both countries sharing history and traditions provide a broad context for the overall relationship. Their ancient maritime trade routes spread over centuries into 600 countries, which allowed mutual interaction between many nations besides them. NAM is indicative in terms of a common one-hundred-year heritage. Sri Lanka and Indonesia are also original founding members of this non-aligned group, bearing out their adherence to democratic rules everywhere as well as close cooperation between themselves.

Today Indonesia and Sri Lanka continue to build on these strong foundations. High-level meetings between the leaders of both countries illustrate a determination to strengthen their hand. Recent examples of closer interaction included the Embassy of Sri Lanka issuing an “Indonesian Friendship Program” which will allow or if necessary force a crowd. Such programs demonstrate forer

Collaboration possibilities are much wider; both Indonesia and Sri Lanka fully understand that in the 21st century, economic partnerships are crucial. In their cooperative efforts, greatly increasing bilateral trade reigns paramount. By singling out particular industries ripe for growth – like Sri Lanka’s tourism sector or Indonesia’s vibrant digital economy – we pave the way for mutually beneficial trade agreements. Moreover, attracting capital through trade missions and joint investment forums creates new paths toward economic development.

Tourism is a particularly fertile area for friendship. With its beautiful beaches and diverse ruins, Sri Lanka is a magnet for Indonesians seeking something different. Conversely, Indonesia’s beautiful scenery ranges from volcanic mountains to rich coral coastlines, all providing equally attractive destinations for Sri Lankan visitors. Cooperative marketing campaigns and cultural exchange programs can engage even more visitors from both sides, thereby creating thriving ecosystems (if you like) of travel.

But in addition to economic cooperation, promoting cultural exchange is essential. Educational exchange programs enable students from Indonesia and Sri Lanka to experience each other’s cultures directly- these will become ambassadors of goodwill for the future. Not resting on the laurels of these achievements, 宪Lovian sister-city partnerships can ‘help establish a direct connection between the two communities. Keeping alive Buddhist links also matters. After all, Indonesia’s Buddhist adherents – numbering 20mill ion– make up a sizeable minority. Co-operating in this area has the effect of fostering dialogue between different faiths and cultures.

To be sure, the path to deeper cooperation is fraught with obstacles. Distance distance, physical environment, and logistics all have a bearing on the volume of business transacted and how easily communication flows. More importantly, as both countries strive for economic growth in the future certain areas will naturally be competitive. Overcoming the obstacles requires a positive attitude, focused on activities that benefit both Indonesian and Sri Lankan companies; building bridges or creating new communication channels between government offices and business sectors.

However, the outlook for Indonesia-Sri Lanka relations in 2024 is still bright. A long and warm friendship, adherence to democratic politics, and common interest in maintaining regional order are the foundation of perpetual cooperation between these two neighbors. Going forward, high-level contacts and pursuance of intersecting benefits in commerce, tourism, and cultural communication will be the key to maximum shares in this energetic cooperative partnership.

Indonesia and Sri Lanka can usher in a new era of collaboration that benefits both nations and promotes peace among neighbors by making full use of their common history and concentrating on cooperation: strategic cooperation. Against the backdrop of the 21st century’s opportunities and challenges, their unswerving dedication to building a robust partnership that lasts endures on the geopolitical map.

The opinions expressed in this article are the author’s own.


Simon Hutagalung

Simon Hutagalung is a retired diplomat from the Indonesian Foreign Ministry and received his master's degree in political science and comparative politics from the City University of New York. The opinions expressed in his articles are his own.

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