Subject: Local Media Monitoring - June 5, 2003




June 5, 2003


1. Speaking at the opening ceremony of the Development Partners Meeting on Wednesday at Hotel Timor President Xanana Gusmao said that Timor-Leste's economic growth from 1990 until August 1999 was between 5-6%. From September 1999 where Timor-Leste faced a tremendous destruction of her economic growth, this decreased to 3,8%. During the UNTAET administration from 1999 - 2000 Timor-Leste's economic growth reached 15,4%. From 2001 ? 2002 it was increased to a level of 18,3%. However with the down sizing of the United Nations structures and role, Timor-Leste's economy faced an decrease of (minus) ?5% during 2002 ? 2003. It is predicted that Timor-Leste's economic growth for the year 2003 ? 2004 would be (minus) ?2%.

2. Vice President for East Asia and Pacific region of the World Bank, Mr Jemal-ud-din Kassum said that the Government of Timor-Leste had reacting swiftly to recent developments and he stressed in particular the recent Government devotion of one week out of every month to "Open Government." Open Government involves taking the entire Council of Ministers to one district at the time, providing a forum for dialogue between the Government and the population. In his remarks Mr Kassum said "many challenges remain, and as you yourself have reminded us (citing the Prime Minster's open remarks), the path will not be easy. To rise to these challenges, Timor-Leste and its development partners need to focus our resources and expertise on a collaborative effort to support the efficient and pro-poor implementation of your Road Map for the National Development Plan, through mechanisms that are accountable and transparent. We believe that successful implementation of the Road Map and the NDP will depend both on the institutions that you are creating, and on prudent, well-planned investments to support sustained development, stable economic growth, and job creation. We look forward to future discussions on sustained donor support for a medium-term investment portfolio in key sectors that are the crucial underpinning for the successful implementation of your National Development Plan".

3. Prime Minister Mari Alkatiri said that he doesn't want to damage the existing good relationship between Timor-Leste and Indonesia. He said that the relationship with Indonesia is a pragmatic and realistic political choice. Mr Alkatiri was commenting after Jakarta's reaction to his statement regarding the creation of an International Tribunal to try the perpetrators of crimes against humanity committed in Timor-Leste.


1. Minister of Finance and Planning, Mrs Maria Madalena Boavida Brites and the Ambassador of Finland, Mr Matti Pullinen signed a Memorandum of Understanding yesterday, during the Timor-Leste and Development Partners meeting at Hotel Timor. The Finance Minister told Timor post that Finland will contribute an amount of 1.260.000 (One million two thousand and sixty). She said that the money will be channeled through the World Bank's Transitional Support Program.

2. Speaking at the opening session of the Development Partners' Meeting at Hotel Timor President Xanana Gusmao told the press that he is confident that the donors will continue to support the country. The President reiterated that Timor-Leste is in process of learning. He said it needed further assistance and support from its development partners. According to President Gusmao, Prime Minister Mari Alkatiri also recognized the lack of experience faced by the country.

3. Timor Post reported on Prime Minister's statement regarding Indonesia and the International Tribunal as per the report in the STL.

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