Trilateral discussions on new forms of integrated development

Fri. 11 of August of 2017, 18:29h

The trilateral meeting of the Platform for Integrated Sub regional Economic Development between Timor-Leste, Indonesia and Australia (TIA-GT - Timor-Leste, Indonesia and Australia Growth Triangle), organized by the Mission Unit, took place in the Ministry of Finance in Díli on the 10th August. TIA-GT’s objective is to evaluate initiatives to promote economic growth through the integrated development of the sub region covering three countries: Timor-Leste, Indonesia (particularly the western part of the island of Timor) and Australia’s Northern Territory.

The Minister for Commerce, Industry and Environment, Constâncio Pinto, welcomed the delegations from Australia and Indonesia and commended TIA-GT's work on the economic and social promotion of the three countries, highlighting the areas of Trade and Investment, Connectivity and Tourism.

João Gonçalves, Head of the TIA-GT Timorese Mission Unit, highlighted the development efforts carried out by Timor-Leste in the areas of Transport, Trade and Tourism, and spoke of the great potential of these sectors in the integrated development of the Sub region. He underlined the benefits of the land connectivity agreement with Indonesia and the access of Timorese workers to the seasonal work program in Australia’s Northern Territory.

The economist and author of the concept of "sub regional growth triangles in Asia," Myo Thant, gave a presentation on "The construction of sub regions, connectivity and other challenges”. He framed the challenges Timor-Leste, Indonesia and Australia face to achieve integrated development looking at potential growth factors and highlighting the key roles of government and the private sector in the success of the initiative. A former chief economist of the Asian Development Bank, Myo Thant stressed the importance of creating an economic corridor linking Díli to Kupang, that is, a main road with access roads to other cities and towns, to benefit the populations in a more direct way.

A second presentation on Tourism and Connectivity was introduced by the National Director of the Asian Development Bank, Paolo Spantigati. He emphasized the need to develop connectivity for the feasibility of tourism projects, with a presentation and discussion of the study on tourism potential of cruises to Timor-Leste, carried out jointly by the Market Development Facility, The Asian Foundation and the Office of the Minister of State, Coordinator of Economic Affairs and the Ministry of Tourism, Arts and Culture of Timor-Leste.

A broad debate followed on the possibilities of promoting the initiatives presented. Australia’s Ambassador to Timor-Leste, Peter Doyle and the Ambassador of Indonesia, Sahat Sitorus, attended the meeting, as well as representatives of the private sector of the three countries, along with prominent guests from countries in the region, such as the Malaysian Ambassador. Subsequently, the heads of the delegations of the three countries (João Gonçalves from Timor-Leste, Bobby Siangian from Indonesia and Jeremy Bruen from Australia) met to follow up the work of the Platform based on the information presented.

To view the Government Spokesperson's press release on the first TIA-GT meeting held in Díli, on April 2016, click here.