Subject: Portugal Telecommunication to invest in RI and East Timor

Indonesian Observer July 7, 2000

Portugal Telecommunication to invest in RI and East Timor

JAKARTA (IO) - Chairman of the Portugal Telecommunication Company Francisco Luis Murteira Nabo said yesterday his company will form a consortium with its Indonesian counterpart to develop telecommunication services in both Indonesia and East Timor.

He said he will invest in both areas because he believes Indonesia is recovering from the crisis and the political condition is improving. "At a political level, the environment is good. Both the Indonesian and Portuguese governments are supporting the business," Francisco said after a meeting with businessman Peter F. Gontha in Jakarta yesterday.

He said East Timor needs to have a telecommunications company because they don't have that. He said it is good for Indonesia to form a joint venture with Portugal. "I also want to find allies; for example with Indonesia's PT Telkom. They have experience," he said.

Francisco admitted that he had had a meeting with political actors as well as business people. "We will form a consortium to offer a bid for telecommunications in East Timor," he added.

He emphasized he will invest in both East Timor and Indonesia, because East Timor is only a small area.

Francisco who is making a two-day visit to Indonesia admitted that he had met businessmen in the telecommunications and multimedia areas. The idea is to have a joint venture and to form a telecommunications company.

During the meeting with Gontha, the Portuguese delegation was given an explanation on the development of multimedia in various areas in Indonesia. Gontha is known as a leading businessman who has been developing multimedia companies in Indonesia.

Commenting on the development of multimedia in Indonesia, Francisco said the condition of Indonesia's multimedia company is very highly developed. "I have met with officials from three national operators of cellular phones. We in Portugal have the same organizations. I think Indonesia is up to date in technology," he added.

Asked whether he does not worry about Indonesia's political situation, he said that Indonesia is recovering from the crisis and the economy is going well.

"We will invest for the long term, so I am not worried about the short term. I would say we have found good partners in telecommunications here. I think it is a good opportunity," he said.

Apart from investing in Indonesia, the Portugal telecommunications company has also made investments in Brazil and Morocco. He emphasized that Indonesia today is stabilizing. "I believe there is a good future," he said.

He explained that the telecommunications investment is big number. In Brazil the Portugiuese have invested US$3.5 billion to become the largest telecommunications operator . "If we want to have a company or to be part of a joint venture here in Indonesia, we will invest hundreds of millions of dollars," he added.

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