Timor-Leste vows to expedite the Memorandum of Understanding which was signed with Cambodia on milled rice trade last year with the aim of boosting economic and trade relations between the two countries.
Timor-Leste Deputy Prime Minister Francisco Kalbuadi Lay made the commitment during a bilateral meeting with Cambodia’s new Minister of Commerce Cham Nimul, on August 28, according to a statement by the ministry.
Kalbuadi said Timor-Leste encouraged both nations’ private sectors to meet and hold an economic forum so that interested parties from Cambodia and other ASEAN states can participate.
He also commended the good diplomatic and economic relations between the two countries.
Meanwhile, Cham Nimul, who said she was keen to see the effective implementation of the MoU on milled rice trade, shared that both sides exchanged views on bilateral, regional and global economic and trade cooperation.
Nimul also encouraged private sector meetings between the countries to boost bilateral trade and investment, as well as exports of agricultural products and other potential goods from Cambodia.
In addition, she reaffirmed Cambodia’s support for Timor-Leste’s negotiation process for full membership in ASEAN and the World Trade Organisation.
Cambodia Rice Federation president Chan Sokheang sees the agricultural tie-up with Timor-Leste as a mutually beneficial alliance, reflecting on the Kingdom’s transformation from a nation grappling with food shortages and weak local supply chain linkages, to one that produces enough food to feed its population with extra to export as well.
“We can share all those experiences with Timor-Leste and help promote agriculture in the country. We’re also looking for investment opportunities for the private sector,” he said.
Located above Australia, Timor-Lester is an oil-producing nation which also relies on tourism, together making up 80 per cent of its gross domestic product.
Agriculture also plays a role in the economy where nearly two thirds of the population are involved in.
It is understood that the government has placed importance in enhancing the agricultural and fisheries sectors for food security and to reduce imports.