Timor-Leste acolhe 34.ª Reunião do Conselho de Administração do SEAMEO VOCTECH e Primeira Semana Internacional das Competências

Tue. 24 of Outubro of 2023, 16:18h

On October 23rd, 2023, in Geneva, Switzerland, Timor-Leste and Indonesia finalised the bilateral agreement on market access for services and goods as part of Timor-Leste’s accession process to the World Trade Organization (WTO).

Ambassador Lurdes Bessa, Timor-Leste's Permanent Representative in Geneva, representing the Coordinating Minister of Economic Affairs and Minister of Tourism and Environment, the current Chief Negotiator for Timor-Leste’s accession to the WTO, Francisco Kalbuadi Lay, signed the agreement. On the Indonesian side, the agreement was signed by Ambassador Febrian A. Ruddyard, Permanent Representative of Indonesia in Geneva. OMK2

The signing of this agreement marks the conclusion of 9 out of 10 bilateral negotiations conducted by Timor-Leste. It signifies an important step towards Timor-Leste's integration into the multilateral trading system and its WTO accession process. This bilateral agreement on market access for services and goods also represents a significant step towards boosting national economic growth, trade relations and Timor-Leste's efforts to become a member of ASEAN while strengthening diplomatic relations between Timor-Leste and Indonesia.

Timor-Leste’s Vice Prime Minister and Chief Negotiator for WTO accession, Francisco Kalbuadi Lay, who took part in the ceremony via videoconference, emphasised that “Timor-Leste’s accession to the WTO is a top priority” and that “Timor-Leste is also committed to joining ASEAN”. To this end, he stated that he “firmly believes that Indonesia will continue to be our most important trading partner, both in ASEAN and in WTO”.

At the welcome session, Indonesian Chief Negotiator Djatmiko Bris Witjaksono, Director General of International Trade Negotiations at the Indonesian Ministry of Trade, expressed his satisfaction with the ongoing partnership and emphasised that “our collaborative effort is not limited to the WTO but also extends to Timor-Leste’s aspirations to join ASEAN”.

This agreement results from meetings held on October 11th, 2023, during the Working Group Meeting on Timor-Leste’s accession to the WTO in Geneva, Switzerland, led by Vice Prime Minister Francisco Kalbuadi Lay.

The signing ceremony was also attended by Ambassador Rui Macieira, Permanent Representative of Portugal, and Chairman of the Working Group on Timor-Leste’s accession to the WTO, along with the Director of WTO Accession, Maika Oshikawa, and officials from Timor-Leste and Indonesian’s mission in Geneva.