DILI, 12 october 2023 (TATOLI) – The Government of Brunei Darussalam is willing to take thousands of Timorese laborers to be working in many different areas in Brunei, said Timor-Leste’s Ambassador to Brunei, Abel Guterres.
“Brunei Darussalam needs 20,000 Timorese workers to go and work in various areas,” said Ambassador Guterres.
He said that Timorese workers will need to have adequate training to be equipped with the knowledge and skills needed to work in Brunei Darussalam.
Ambassador Guterres said that the Bruneian government prefers to sign a memorandum of understanding with Timor-Leste to formally establish the bilateral labor agreement.
In august, Bruneian Ambassador to Timor-Leste, Wan Hadfi Latif met with the Prime Minister, Kay Rala Xanana Gusmão to discuss the establishment of the labor agreement.
“A Memorandum of Understanding will be soon signed by both governments to establish the bilateral labor movement,” said Ambassador Latif.
He added that Timor-Leste would start sending workers to Brunei once the MoU is signed: “We are still in the negotiation stage to establish the agreement on the labor movement.”
“This is a requirement of the Timorese government. The policy of the Secretary of State for Vocational Training and Employment (SEFOPE) requires formal labor agreements between governments before sending workers abroad,” he explained.
On september 19, the Council of Ministers authorized the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding between the Government of Timor-Leste, represented by the Vice Prime Minister, the Coordinating Minister of Economic Affairs and the Minister of Tourism and Environment, and the Government of Brunei Darussalam, for a program to send workers from Timor-Leste to that country.
Latif said many workers from the region are currently working in Brunei, including workers from Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, India, and Bangladesh.
Brunei has a similar culture to Timor-Leste as many Timorese can speak Indonesian and English, saying therefore Brunei is interested in recruiting Timorese laborers.
He stressed that the demand for jobs in hospitality and various other areas is high in Brunei.
Last year, Timor-Leste’s former foreign minister, Adaljiza Magno, also discussed with her Bruneian counterpart, Erywan Yusof, the possibility of sending Timorese workers to Brunei Darussalam.
Journalist: Camilio de Sousa
Editor: Filomeno Martins