Indonesia, Australia, Timor Leste agree to increase economic cooperation

Nusa Dua, Bali (ANTARA News) - Indonesia, Australia and East Timor have agreed to increase economic cooperation among themselves, including in trade and investment.

The three heads of state - President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono, Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard, and East Timor Prime Minister Xanana Gusmao - held a trilateral meeting on the sidelines of the 5th Bali Democracy Forum on Friday.

Gillard stated that the trilateral meeting was held "in a constructive atmosphere".

"I participated in a trilateral meeting between Australia, Indonesia and East Timor, along with President Yudhoyono and Prime Minister Xanana," she said.

Gillard noted that the meeting discussed ways to increase cooperation in investment and trade, as well as to enhance relations between the citizens of the three nations through improved telecommunications and transportation.

"There will be a separate meeting on technical cooperation in Dili (East Timor) in March or April 2013. Anyway, we had a very pleasant discussion this morning," she said.

"The future of our economy is related to Asia. As we learnt from the white paper presented at the forum earlier, about the `Asian century', where Asia will have a stronger-than-ever influence on global business. No state can be self-sufficient; it must rely on products from other countries. Therefore, such cooperation is crucial for us and also for Indonesia and Timor-Leste," Gillard added.

On the occasion, she also congratulated U.S. President Barack Obama on his re-election victory.

Gillard said Australia would continue to maintain and increase cooperation with the U.S. in various fields. (*)

(A050/INE/KR-BSR/F001)

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