Timor Leste company, Indo-Tim, and PT Mandanton Group from Indonesia, signed a Consortium Cooperative Agreement (1/8/2014). “The Timor-Leste Government welcomes the agreement and will support cooperation of the two companies in carrying out nine programs in Timor Leste,” said Minister of Trade, Industry and Environment, RDTL, Antonio da Conçeicão on the occasion.
Present were Indonesian Ambassador to RDTL, Primanto Hendrasmoro; Minister of Tourism Francisco Kalbuadi Lay; State Secretary for Private Sector Development Veneranda Martins Lernos; National Parliament Member Representatives; local entrepreneurs, and Directors and staff of the two companies.
The RDTL Minister of Trade, Industry and Environment said that the cooperation nurtured between the Governments of Timor Leste and Indonesia, particularly in developing the private sector and the economy in Timor Leste, has advanced tremendously.
Indonesia, he continued, as a prime importer of Timor Leste, just like China, Singapore, Malaysia, and Australia, is hoped to assist Timor Leste in suppressing its products so as not to drive inflation.
Antonio also said that business people can look at Timor Leste as the connecting door between Indonesia and the Community of Portuguese-Language Countries, where opportunities of economic cooperation will be of shared benefit in the future.
The Head of the Consortium of the Two Companies said that the Indo-Tim company’s ownership is a combination of Indonesian (Kupang) and Timor Leste entrepreneurs. “Indo-Tim Company will cooperate with the Timor Leste Government to develop economy in Timor Leste.”
Nine programs will be conducted by the Consortium—providing vehicle credits, cattle farming, hotel construction in 13 districts, construction of a credit bank in Timor Leste, establishing of Insurance Agencies in Timor Leste, developing housing in 13 districts, food supply, creating employment opportunities in the construction sector, setting up gas stations in 13 districts.
Activities will start on January 23, 2014, by making available credits for 75,000 motor bike units to the public in all districts over five years.
State Secretary of Private Sector Development, Veneranda, said that “The Timor Leste Government positively responds to any investment in Timor Leste.” The Government will provide assistance for credit activities through the Timor Leste National Bank for this cause.
Veneranda also mentioned the Timor Leste Investment Laws, which grant benefits to local entrepreneurs, who will obtain a five-year tax exemption when investing in Dili and Baucau , a ten-year tax exemption for investment in the Districts of Oecusse and Atauro , and in other districts a seven-year tax exemption.
This will provide opportunities for Timor Leste entrepreneurs to start investing without having to wait for government projects.
Indonesian Ambassador to Timor Leste, Primanto Hendrasmoro said that the Indonesia- Timor Leste Consortium is a concrete step, reflecting the two countries’ strong relations. “This activity is a reflection of the meeting between the Timor Leste and Nusa Tenggara Timur (NTT) Chambers of Trade and Industries in May 2013.”
At the meeting of the two countries’ leaders, Indonesia made its commitment to assisting Timor Leste in its development, especially for the people’s interests.
The two countries also agreed to develop an integrated economy between Timor Leste and the Indonesian border region, such as the NTT Province.
"In order that the Consortium will run smoothly through various programs, Timor Leste must determine priorities among the programs mentioned above, conform to the decisions and regulations that are in effect, and prioritize private sector programs in the Small-to-Medium Enterprises and cooperation with Indonesia.
These matters, according to Ambassador Primanto, will hopefully push Transfer of Knowledge and absorb more local workers. (Source: Dili Indonesian Embassy/Ed. PY)