During a meeting with international media in Timor Leste, Mr. Rui Maria de Araújo, Prime Minister of Timor Leste, told VET about the relationship between the two countries and the investment opportunities on offer. “We import about 70 per cent of our basic needs from ASEAN countries, including Vietnam,” he said. The biggest import item from Vietnam is rice, which is based on a government-to-government Memorandum of Understanding (MoU), which is to be reviewed this year.
He hoped that with the new MoU Timor Leste’s rice stock will be secured. In terms of agricultural development, he suggested that Vietnam invest in crops such as coffee, as Timor Leste’s production is still low compared to Vietnam. Its coffee, though, has added-value, as it’s organic.
Mr. Nguyen Canh Hoa, General Director of Viettel Timor Leste (Telemor) agreed that coffee is a market of potential for Vietnamese enterprises. He also suggested other agricultural products and the recycling of iron and steel, as these are lacking in the country.
“As the country is in a period of development it has many incentives for investment from foreign countries, such as waived license fees and corporate income tax exemptions from five to ten years, depending on the area,” Mr. Hoa said. Timor Leste is a country greatly dependent upon imports, even fast-moving consumer goods (FMCG), and is seeking investment in a range of fields. This means new export and investment opportunities for Vietnam, according to Mr. Hoa.
Timor Leste celebrated 40 years since its declaration of independence on November 28, 500 years of contact between Timorese and Portuguese people, and the affirmation of the Timorese Identity. The celebrations were attended by officials from a range of countries and international media as well as thousands of people, watching a march by the armed forces.