Timor Leste reaffirms desire to join ASEAN hinh anh 1Timor Leste President Jose Ramos-Horta (left) and his Indonesian counterpart Joko Widodo. (Photo: AFP/VNA)
Hanoi (VNA) - Timor Leste President Jose Ramos-Horta said on July 19 that he wants to help his nation boost trade with Indonesia and realise its bid to become a member of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) next year.

Ramos-Horta was quoted by the Channel News Asia as saying at his meeting with the Indonesian counterpart, Joko Widodo, during a visit to the country, that "Timor Leste as part of Southeast Asia has fulfilled many of the requirements necessary for a functioning economy and democracy so ... will be a productive member of ASEAN."

He said he hoped his country could join the bloc when Indonesia takes over the ASEAN presidency in 2023.

Timor Leste, which applied for ASEAN membership in 2011, currently holds a observer status.

According to Widodo, Indonesia has invested 818 million USD in Timor Leste, mainly in energy, banking and communication businesses. Indonesia’s official data, meanwhile, showed that trade between the countries was worth around 250 million USD last year./.