Vice Minister for Commerce, Industry and Environment Constancio Pinto said on June 4 that he appreciated the support from the Vietnamese Government for Timor-Leste’s candidacy for membership in ASEAN.
Speaking to the Vietnam News Agency’s reporter in Timor-Leste, he voiced his hope that Timor-Leste would join the bloc in the next two years.
Its admittance to the ASEAN was vastly welcomed by member states during the 26 th ASEAN Summit in Malaysia last April, the vice minister said, adding that Timor-Leste’s membership application has been evaluated by an ASEAN working group and did not have any negative feedback.
The country has established embassies in ASEAN member countries, which Pinto regarded as an advantage towards full membership recognition.
Timor-Leste lodged its application in March 2011 and has been working to improve its resource quality and implement regime reforms to satisfy all ASEAN requirements, especially in the context of the upcoming ASEAN Economic Community formation by the end of 2015.
The nation has huge potential in energy, tourism and rice and coffee productions. Energy is the most promising sector, where the nation has been inviting investment from foreign countries including ASEAN member states, Pinto noted.
He also expressed his delight at the Vietnamese military-run telecom group Viettel, the founder of Telemor in Timor-Leste. The brand has become the leading telecommunication service provider in the country since it was established three years ago, contributing to local infrastructure and economic development as well as generating jobs for many local people.