JAKARTA, KOMPAS.com - The governments of Indonesia and Timor Leste have agreed to develop the economy in the border areas of Indonesia’s East Nusa Tenggara (NTT) province and Timor Leste’s Oecusse Municipality.
"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 “Jokowi” Widodo said on Monday, Feb. 13.
The statement was made during a joint press conference with Prime Minister of Timor Leste Taur Matan Ruak at the Bogor Presidential Palace, West Java province, on the outskirts of Jakarta.
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 the development of the border areas.
Monday’s visit by Prime Minister Ruak is his third official visit to Indonesia. He had earlier visited Indonesia as president of Timor Leste in 2014 and 2015, respectively.
During the 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. local time.
Previously, Indonesian Foreign Affairs Minister Retno Marsudi and her Timor Leste counterpart, Adaljiza Albertina Xavier Reis Magno, met in Jakarta on Jan. 11, to discuss strategies to intensify economic cooperation and settle land boundaries between the two countries.
Also read: Timor Leste’s President José Ramos-Horta to Visit Indonesia in July