Prime Minister of Timor-Leste Rui Maria de Araujo (Source: VNA)
Dili (VNA) – The Government and people of Timor-Leste are working hard in economic development and national construction, towards joining the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) by 2020.

Prime Minister of Timor-Leste Rui Maria de Araujo said joining the ASEAN is the dream of the country and Timor-Leste will do its utmost to realise this desire.

He believes that becomes an ASEAN member means Timor-Leste will reach political and security stability, and will have a chance to access capital sources for economic development, stressing that his country is willing to make active contributions to the bloc.

After 14 years of being independent (May 20, 2002), Timor-Leste is still one of the poorest countries worldwide due to the severe impacts from the wars.

Crude oil export is now the main source of revenue for Timor-Leste’s budget. The country’s Government has carried out reforms in many fields, including attracting foreign investment, administrative systems and facilitating business activities, with the aim of diversifying the economy.

Measures have been devised to promote the development of a multi-sector economy, prioritising tourism and agriculture. The Government is also committed to creating more jobs for people.

Timor-Leste has reached several agreements with foreign investors, while travel agencies have also promised to expand their operation. The country’s Ministry of Finance pledged to adjust monetary policy in order to minimise risk when the country joins ASEAN.

In recent years, Timor-Leste has been active in expanding diplomatic ties with regional countries, while working to ensure its political stability and promoting economic growth.

The country’s hosting of the ASEAN People Forum 2016 (APF 2016) in August shows it is nearing the goal of joining ASEAN in 2020.

Talking to reporters from Southeast Asian nations, Prime Minister Rui Maria de Araujo mentioned Vietnam as an important partner of his country.

Vietnam ranks sixth among 35 countries exporting to Timor-Leste, with export turnover hitting about 34 million USD. The two countries have great potential to boost links in trade, energy, oil and gas, processing, textile and electronics.

Vietnam’s military-run telecommunications group Viettel is operating its subsidiary –Telemor - in Timor-Leste, which makes up 55 percent of the telecom market share in the country.-VNA