Vietnam, Timor Leste Eye Stronger Cooperation

The two sides spotlighted the fruitful development of the bilateral relationship, and briefed each other on the economic and trade development of each country.

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Vietnamese Minister of Industry and Trade Nguyen Hong Dien held talks with Minister of Tourism, Trade and Industry of Timor Leste Jose Lucas Da Silva on September 14, as part of the Vietnamese delegation’s activities at the 54th ASEAN Economic Ministers’ Meeting (AEM 54) and related meetings in Siem Reap, Cambodia.

Vietnam, Timor Leste Eye Stronger Cooperation
Vietnamese Minister of Industry and Trade Nguyen Hong Dien (Left) and Minister of Tourism, Trade and Industry of Timor Leste Jose Lucas (Photo: VOV)
The 54th ASEAN Economic Ministers’ Meeting (AEM 54) and related meetings will take place until September 18, focusing on regional growth and post-pandemic economic recovery and trade partnership with leading economies. ASEAN economic chiefs will hold discussion with partners, including those from China, the Republic of Korea, Japan, Australia, New Zealand, India, the US, Canada and Russia, as well as others in the framework of the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) and the East Asia Summit (EAS. Earlier, ASEAN senior economic officials gathered from September 11-13.

The Timor Leste side spoke highly of Vietnam’s trade potential and opportunities to strengthen cooperation with the country, showing the desire to further cooperate with Vietnam in the fields of transportation, import – export, and seaports. It expressed its hope that Vietnam will support and share information and experience in developing the national one-stop-shop mechanism, and in trade and investment promotion.

Minister Dien affirmed that Vietnam is ready to cooperate and support Timor Leste in the fields that Timor Leste has advantages such as minerals, forest and aquatic industries. He said these are the fields many Vietnam businesses currently focus on, especially sustainable development in the long-term.

The Vietnamese official called for Timor Leste’s support to connect Timor Leste’s businesses with Vietnamese suppliers. Cooperation with Vietnam will help both countries integrate deeper in regional and global value chains, he affirmed.

He called on the two sides to perfect the legal framework and economic and trade cooperation mechanisms, strengthen information sharing and exchange of business delegations.

The minister suggested Timor Leste to facilitate Vietnam’s research activities in oil and gas exploration and production; and cooperate in exploiting and processing forest and mineral resources, mining metal ores and non-ferrous metals, and in producing goods for export to countries with preferential mechanisms for Timor Leste.

Dien also said he hopes the Timor Leste side will soon ratify the trade agreement signed between the two countries.

In August 2022, Vietnam’s Minister of Foreign Affairs Bui Thanh Son met with Timor-Leste Minister of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation Adaljiza Albertina Xavier Reis Magno on the sidelines of the 29th ASEAN Regional Forum held on Friday in Phnom Penh, Cambodia.

The two sides agreed to effectively implement the agreements, including the Việt Nam – Timor-Leste Framework Agreement on Economic and Technical Cooperation as well as trade agreement; promote the signing of agreements on tourism and people-to-people exchange; and expand cooperation in agriculture, healthcare, and development of small- and medium-sized enterprises.

his year marked the 20th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic ties between Vietnam and Timor Leste (July 28, 2002 – 2022). The two countries signed the bilateral trade agreement in 2013. Since then, the bilateral trade remained dodest, reaching only US $33.6 million in 2021, reported VNA.

Zoey Nguyễn