NTT, Timor-Leste discuss free-trade zone in Timor Island

NTT, Timor-Leste discuss free-trade zone in Timor Island

East Nusa Tenggara (NTT) Governor Viktor Laiskodat (right) and Timor-Leste President Jose Ramos-Horta during a meeting in Labuan Bajo, East Nusa Tenggara, Friday (July 22, 2022). ANTARA/HO-Biro Humas Provinsi NTT.

The free-trade zone will bring great benefit for Timor-Leste and Indonesia's economy, particularly at the border region in East Nusa Tenggara
Kupang, East Nusa Tenggara (ANTARA) - East Nusa Tenggara (NTT) Governor Viktor Laiskodat and Timor-Leste President José Ramos-Horta discussed the proposed free-trade zone at the Indonesia-Timor-Leste border in Timor Island.

"The free-trade zone will bring great benefit for Timor-Leste and Indonesia's economy, particularly at the border region in East Nusa Tenggara," Laiskodat noted in a statement here, Saturday.

The discussion of the free-trade zone proposal in Labuan Bajo, Friday (July 22), coincided with President Joko Widodo's (Jokowi's) visit to the province.

The division of Timor Island between Indonesia and Timor-Leste is merely political, the governor said, adding that residents of the island shared cultural, social, and economic aspects.

He opined that development of a free-trade zone in Timor Island would benefit Indonesia and Timor-Leste in the social, cultural, economic, and trade aspects.

"I have consulted President Jokowi (about the proposal), and he gave me the green light," Laiskodat remarked.

The plan to develop the border economy on the island is not only to develop the market but also to establish a free-trade zone, he noted.

"Border management must be planned properly, not only in terms of its political aspect but also the social-economic, trade, and all potentials that could be exploited here for the benefit of the two countries that shared Timor Island," Laiskodat expounded.

The governor also expressed gratitude to the president for authorizing the development of an integrated border post on Timor Island.

Meanwhile, President Ramos-Horta also commended the free-trade zone proposal, as he is convinced that the policy would encourage economic development between both countries and particularly benefit residents in the border region.

"Let us implement this plan to benefit the two countries and to develop a new economic zone," the Timorese president remarked.

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