Statement of President of the Republic of Indonesia at the Joint Press Statement with Prime Minister of Democratic Republic of Timor-Leste, at Teratai Room, Bogor Presidential Palace, West Java Province, February 13, 2023
Welcome back to Indonesia, Prime Minister Taur Matan Ruak.
I still remember Your Excellency’s visits to Indonesia as the President of Timor-Leste back in 2014 and 2015. Last year, Indonesia also received a state visit from President Ramos Horta. Intensity of those visits reflects continuous efforts to strengthen cooperation between the two countries. In that meeting, I have delivered several points of note.
First, I underscored the importance of economic cooperation. I welcome the enhancement of trade relations between the two countries and we are committed to intensify discussions on economic region development at border areas of East Nusa Tenggara province and Oecusse. In order to support economic cooperation particularly on the development of economic region at the borders, we have agreed to enter into discussions to establish a Bilateral Investment Treaty.
I also look forward to the improvement of connectivity by establishing a bus route connecting Kupang and Dili. In particular, I push for a lower sea transportation cost for business sector.
Second, it is regarding management of border areas. We have agreed to immediately complete the construction of two remaining land border projects this year, namely the Noel Besi-Citrana segment and Bijael Sunan-Oben segment. The completion of land border project is important before we can start discussions on maritime and development of Oepoli Border Post.
Third, the enhancement of cooperation on development sector. Since 2006 Indonesia and Timor-Leste have been cooperating on 258 development projects involving thousands of participants from Timor-Leste. In the past two years, Indonesia has been providing scholarships for 489 students from Timor-Leste. Indonesia is committed to carry on development cooperation, particularly on the development of human resources capacity.
In addition to the three bilateral issues, I also touched on the Indonesia’s ASEAN Chairmanship. Based on the results of ASEAN Summit in Phnom Penh, Timor-Leste in principle is accepted as a member of ASEAN. A road map for the membership is being prepared, led by Indonesia as the current Chair of ASEAN. Timor-Leste has been joining several ASEAN meeting as an observer, including the ASEAN’s Foreign Ministers’ Meeting held earlier this month.
I invite Your Excellency Prime Minister Taur Matan Ruak to deliver his statement. The floor is yours.