Subject: AN: MOU on Border Crossing to be followed up

Antara - The Indonesian National News Agency

June 23, 2003


Atambua, E Nusa Tenggara, June 23 (ANTARA) - The Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on Indonesia-East Timor border-crossing trade activities should be realized by concrete action, director of Indonesia Future Com (IFCOM) Consulting Hanafi Sofyan said.

"Several days ago Indonesian President Megawati Soekarnoputri and East Timorese Prime Minister Mari Alkatiri signed a border-crossing cooperation agreement, which must be realized immediately," Hanafi said in Atambua on Monday.

He is in Atambua as border-crossing trade technical training instructor for members of cooperatives and small & medium businessmen under a program of the East Nusa Tenggara provincial cooperative office in Atambua.

He said various problems relating to the border region of the two countries are now still handled by Jakarta, with the different regions implementing the relevant national policies.

Therefore, concrete efforts at central government level in the form of the signing of the MoU on border-crossing trade must be followed up by national policies which basically will make it easier for the regional administrations to handle local potentials.

"I think some special authority will be given to the border region to follow up on the MoU, which is still being studied and developed in Jakarta involving various sides," he said.

The facilities to be given to the regions may take the form of the import of several certain commodities which had been specially arranged for the welfare of the Indonesian people living in the border regions between East Nusa Tenggara and East Timor.

Under the MoU, the people living in the border regions must also be given opportunities to develop the potentials to enhance their welfare, he said.

He also hoped that the businessmen in the border region would be able to observe the existing potentials and transform them into positive activities.

Meanwhile various circles involved in trade activities in the border region has also been called on to prioritize the principles of trade which is constantly developing according to skills and knowhow of border-crossing trade.

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