DILI, 11 november 2022 (TATOLI) – The technical teams of the Ministries of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation (MoFAC) of Timor-Leste and Portugal are preparing the draft of the labor mobility agreement, revealed the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Adaljiza Magno.
“The draft is under consideration between the two governments. After the final drafting, a discussion will be held and the result of the discussion will be announced to the public when the two countries officially approved the agreement,” she told Tatoli at the house of parliament, today.
When asked about the proposed date for the discussion of the draft, Magno said: “We haven’t defined any specific date yet, but we will try to decide the date as soon as possible. The discussion depends on the final drafting of the proposal.”
Magno highlighted the importance of holding bilateral negotiations to address the conditions for the Timorese who want to travel and live in Portugal.
“The agreement is very important so that the Timor-Leste Immigration Services and the Portuguese Immigration and Borders Service (SEF) can control Timorese people who want to go to Portugal. Because, the Portuguese government has changed the migration law, therefore those who want to look for work in Portugal must apply for a work visa,” she said.
Minister Magno informed that she has already had a meeting with her Portuguese counterpart, João Gomes Cravinho, during the state visit of the President of the Republic, José Ramos Horta, to Portugal.
She said that the purpose of the meeting was to find immediate, short and long-term solutions to solve the situation of Timorese emigrants in Portugal.
The Director-General of Protocol and Consular Affairs of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation (MoFAC), José Amorim Dias had previously said that Timor-Leste Government wanted to establish a labor mobility agreement with Portugal, as it did with Australia and South Korea.
This agreement aims to mitigate the consequences of Timorese traveling to Portugal without labor contracts.
The Embassy of Timor-Leste in Portugal has already made initial contacts with the Portuguese government, aiming to establish bilateral agreements to find a permanent solution for Timorese who want to travel and live in Portugal.
The draft of the labor mobility agreement has been prepared by the Embassy of Timor-Leste in Portugal and has been sent to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs for review before an official agreement is signed.
Currently, around 5.000 Timorese workers are living in Portugal, of which around 800 are jobless.
Journalist: Camilio de Sousa
Editor: Filomeno Martins