UK presents the importance of the RoO for Timor-Leste’s accession to ASEAN and WTO

UK presents the importance of the RoO for Timor-Leste’s accession to ASEAN and WTO

Professor Adnan Khan, Chief Economist. Special

DILI, 15 december 2023 (TATOLI) – The UK, through the Trade and Investment Facilitation Fund 2 Plus (TAF2+), has presented the importance of Rules of Origin (RoO) for Timor-Leste’s accession process to ASEAN (Association of Southeast Asian Nations) and the WTO (World Trade Organization).

Professor Adnan Khan, Chief Economist and Director of the Economics and Evaluation Directorate at the UK Foreign, Commonwealth, and Development Office (FCDO), noted that Timor-Leste has made significant progress in the WTO accession process.

In parallel, Timor-Leste is working towards joining the ASEAN Economic Community (AEC). TAF2+ aims to provide technical assistance and capacity-building support to the government of Timor-Leste to advance the AEC accession process.

“For this to become a reality by the self-imposed deadline of 2025, Timor-Leste needs technical support, which the Government of Timor-Leste has deemed critical to achieving accession to the AEC,” Professor Adnan Khan said during a kick-off meeting at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs office this Friday.

Khan added, “While there are many areas of support required, including sanitary and phytosanitary measures (SPS) and technical trade barriers (TBT), this project will focus on Rules of Origin (ROO) and developing a legislative framework aligned with Chapter 3-Rules of Origin of Goods of the ASEAN Trade in Goods Agreement (ATIGA)”.

On this occasion, TAF2+ presents three international consultants who will provide presentations for beneficiaries of TAF2+ technical assistance and capacity-building support, such as government agencies, chambers of commerce, industry associations, and others.

Specifically, TAF2+ aims to review the existing ROO law against the requirements of the WTO and ATIGA and prepare a set of recommendations and next steps about the law to help fulfill the WTO and ASEAN requirements on ROO.

“TAF2+ support will end in March 2024, and we hope that on that day we can support TL to have a more specific ROO,” he said.

Director General of Industry Carlos Ximenes Lopes admitted that Timor-Leste already has its ROO, but it is not specific, so it does not fulfill the roadmap for ASEAN accession.

“We admit that although we already have our ROO, it is not specific, so we have to update it, but to get there, every related ministry must discuss it together, and we will soon form a team for that,” he concluded.

Journalist: José Belarmino de Sá

Editor: Rafael Ximenes de A. Belo


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