"I welcome the increasing trade relations between the two countries, and we are committed to intensifying discussions on economic development in the border areas between NTT and Oecusse," Indonesian President Joko Widodo (Jokowi) remarked.
Jokowi made the statement at the joint press conference with Prime Minister of Timor Leste Taur Matan Ruak at the Bogor Presidential Palace, West Java Province, on Monday.
Oecusse is an exclave municipality of Timor Leste that is surrounded by NTT Province.
Furthermore, the Indonesian president emphasized the importance of economic cooperation between the two countries.
Hence, the two countries agreed to encourage negotiations to establish a bilateral investment treaty to boost development of the border areas.
Prime Minister Ruak's visit on Monday is his third official visit to Indonesia. He had earlier visited Indonesia as president of Timor Leste in 2014 and 2015.
At today’s bilateral meeting, four memoranda of understanding (MoUs) were inked by the two countries in the economy, education, and industry sectors.
The Timor Leste prime minister arrived at the Bogor Presidential Palace at 9:55 a.m. Western Indonesian Standard Time (WIB).
Prior, Indonesian Foreign Affairs Minister Retno Marsudi and her Timor Leste counterpart, Adaljiza Albertina Xavier Reis Magno, met in Jakarta on January 11, 2023, to discuss strategies to intensify economic cooperation and settle land boundaries between the two countries.
Furthermore, the two ministers agreed to begin discussions on a joint free-trade area agreement for the border industrial area between Oecusse Municipality and NTT Province.
They also discussed the importance of accelerating the completion of a Bilateral Investment Treaty and MoU on Communications and Informatics.
During the visit of Timor Leste President Jose Manuel Ramos-Horta in July 2022, Jokowi stated that the value of Indonesia's investment in Timor Leste had reached US$818 million in the banking, oil and gas, as well as telecommunications sectors.
Related news: Jokowi pleased Timor Leste in principle accepted as ASEAN member
Related news: Indonesia, Timor Leste agree to pursue bilateral investment