Gusmão: Accession to ASEAN will boost confidence of foreign investors to invest in TL

Gusmão: Accession to ASEAN will boost confidence of foreign investors to invest in TL


DILI, 04 september 2023 (TATOLI) – Timorese Prime Minister, Kay Rala Xanana Gusmão, in his remark at the ASEAN Business and Investment Summit 2023 said that the emergence of the ASEAN economy is critical for the global economy, saying therefore, Timor-Leste accession to the block will provide the business and foreign direct investors the confidence to invest in the country. 

Gusmão said that attracting foreign direct investment is critical to growing Timor-Leste’s economy, creating jobs and to modernize and transform the economic structure of Timor-Leste.

“A key reason Timor-Leste is seeking accession to ASEAN is to become part of this success story. Full membership of ASEAN will provide business and foreign direct investors the confidence and security to invest in Timor-Leste,” Gusmão said at the ASEAN Business and Investment Summit 2023, at the Sultan Hotel, Jakarta, today. 

He said that Timor-Leste also wants to be part of ASEAN’s ‘people-centred’ approach to growth and development: “This approach has allowed wide participation and ownership of ASEAN’s affairs. It has helped increase per capita wealth, life expectancy and health outcomes, lifting millions out of poverty.”

“This transformation has been achieved by building trust between ASEAN countries and by promoting stability, unity and peace in our region. ASEAN has succeeded bringing countries with diverse cultures and histories together to form a community bound by a shared commitment to tolerance, friendship and cooperation,” Gusmão added. 

With a market size of US$2.3 trillion and 600 million people, ASEAN is an economic powerhouse that has transformed Southeast Asia. 

Gusmão admired the rise of miracle economies within ASEAN – including in Vietnam, Malaysia, Thailand, Indonesia and Singapore.

Previously, the President of the Republic, José Ramos Horta, speaking at the Jakarta Post Democracy Forum in Indonesia, said that Timor-Leste ideally would join the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) by 2025.

At the previous ASEAN Summit in Labuan Bajo ASEAN leaders approved the Roadmap for Timor-Leste’s formal admission as the ASEAN 11th member.

In order to materialize Timor-Leste’s ambition to become a new member of ASEAN in 2025, Timor-Leste is now developing action plans that will provide the necessary structure and guidance to bring the roadmap approved by ASEAN leaders to effective implementation.

“Since the adoption of the roadmap in Labuan Bajo last May, we have been working to develop an action plan that the necessary structure and guidance to transform the roadmap into the relevant ministries and agencies’ annual action plans, budget, and capacity building required to bring the roadmap to effective implementation, including a monitoring mechanism to assess progress,” President Horta said.

Timor-Leste began its bid for ASEAN membership in 2011, nine years after its independence in 2002.


Journalist: Filomeno Martins 

Editor: Nelia Borges


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