High-level delegations will soon visit ASEAN Member States to showcase its investment potential and attract investment from its neighbours.

“The Prime Minister of Timor-Leste, Xanana Gusmao, will visit ASEAN countries to promote Timor-Leste’s development and to call for interest in taking part in the development of Timor-Leste,” said H.E. Dr. José Luis Guterres, Senior Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation of Timor-Leste, when calling on H.E. Le Luong Minh, the Secretary-General of ASEAN today.

Foreign Minister Guterres said that 80 percent of its trade is with Indonesia and Singapore. He also informed Secretary-General Minh that Embassies of Timor-Leste in ASEAN countries have been requested to facilitate the submission of tender proposals by companies for infrastructure projects, such as roads and ports, in Timor-Leste. To date, Indonesia, Singapore and the Philippines have been the three most active ASEAN Member States participating in the development projects of Timor-Leste.

During their meeting, the Secretary-General updated Foreign Minister Guterres on the current work carried out by the ASEAN Coordinating Council Working Group (ACCWG) in assessing Timor Leste’s application to join ASEAN and specifically, the implications of Timor-Leste’s accession to ASEAN in all three pillars, namely, political-security, economic and socio-cultural. Foreign Minister Guterres also informed Secretary-General Minh on the various preparations being done by Timor-Leste in the wake of its application  for membership of ASEAN. Timor-Leste will soon host seminars on the study done by experts from Japan on the challenges faced by Timor-Leste in joining ASEAN.  Foreign Minister Guterres also highlighted that Timor-Leste is ready to further discuss with ASEAN on its application. Timor-Leste had applied to join ASEAN in 2011 under its Fourth Constitutional Government.

Foreign Minister Guterres extended an invitation to Secretary-General Minh to visit Timor-Leste to witness the developments there in person. Timor-Leste had previously invited the ASEAN Foreign Ministers to visit Timor-Leste and, to-date, the Foreign Ministers of Singapore and Myanmar have visited Timor-Leste.

H.E. Dr. José Luis Guterres was accompanied by H.E. Mr Manuel Sarrano, Ambassador of Timor-Leste to ASEAN, while the Secretary-General was accompanied by H.E. Nyan Lynn, Deputy Secretary-General for ASEAN Political-Security Community (APSC) and ASEAN Secretariat officers.