The ceremony (Source: VNA)
Dili (VNA) - Timor Leste hosted a ceremony in Oecusse on November 28 to mark its 40th anniversary of proclamation of independence.

Speaking at the event, Timor Leste’s President Taur Matan Ruak said his country is striving to realise its socio-economic development targets, towards the goal of becoming a middle income nation in the next 15 years.

He stressed efforts to eradicate poverty, improve health and education services, saying that they are keys for the country’s future changes.

After officially gaining independence 13 years ago, Timor Leste has worked hard to reconstruct the country, promote economic development, as well as prepare for its ASEAN membership in the coming time.

Speaking to Vietnam News Agency correspondent, Timor Leste’s Prime Minister Rui Maria affirmed relationship between his country and Vietnam has developed strongly in recent years, especially in investment and trade.

Timor Leste is making every effort to be able to become a member of ASEAN, he said, adding that this year, the country opened embassies in ASEAN member nations, namely Laos, Cambodia, Myanmar and Brunei.

With a population of around 1.2 million and an area of 15,000 sq.m, Timor Leste is a young nation in Southeast Asia.

The country’s economy depends heavily on oil exports which bring home about 7 billion USD per year. Timor Leste hopes to attract foreign investment in agriculture and tourism, aiming to diversify its economy.-VNA