Subject: Daily Media Review 24 June 2003


Subject: Daily Media Review 24 June

Dili, June 24, 2003

Daily Media Review

Free Entry Visa Approved

A communiqué issued by the Department of Foreign Affairs on Monday said that the governments of Timor-Leste and Indonesian had approved the free entry visa. The visa is specifically for people living in the border, including Oecussi enclave. It is aimed to facilitate the movement and transit of the populations in the border markets established by the two countries. The free entry visa will be effective in six (6) months time and a special access card will be issued by the governments of the two countries, in order to facilitate the population movements. (STL)

ASEAN Cracking Open Club's Door for Dili - Ramos Horta

Foreign Minister, José Ramos Horta, said Monday that Timor-Leste would likely to be admitted to ASEAN's Regional Forum security structure next year, with hopes of obtaining on formal observer's status by 2006. Ramos Horta told the media in Macao, where he is on a five-day visit, that "crushing majority" of the 23 forum members had supported lifting a "moratorium" on new members at a Phnom Penh meeting last week. Dili's membership in the regional security forum, an ASEAN spin-off, would likely open the way for Timor-Leste's to join the pivotal, 10-nation Southeast Asian bloc as an observer "in 2005 or 2006", he said, adding that full membership could come within "five or six years". On Monday, Ramos Horta held talks with Macao's chief executive, Edmund Ho Hau Wah, on promoting bilateral ties and business. Macao, the Timorese diplomat said, could serve as Timor-Leste's "nerve center" in its search for foreign investment. Timor's Macao mission was a topic of discussion with Ho Hau Wah, whom Ramos Horta invited to visit Dili. The Macao mission, due to open in 2004, will primarily be geared towards "attracting investment and support and will also project Timorese business opportunities in Hong Kong, Taiwan and East Asia", Ramos Horta said. (Lusa)

Lucrative Timor-Leste Petroleum Project Advances

An international petroleum project is moving forward that will give Timor-Leste's economy some badly needed relief. International oil giant ConocoPhillips is set to begin work immediately on the $1.5 billion Bayu-Undan liquid gas project. The project received final approval this week, reported Voice of America. ConocoPhillips' role is to build a pipeline to take liquefied natural gas from the Timor Sea to a processing facility in Darwin, Australia. Ten percent of the revenues will go to Australia; the other 90 percent will go to Timor-Leste. Australian Foreign Minister Alexander Downer said the project should go far in relieving Timor-Leste's poverty. "The amounts involved will be considerable and I think will give Timor a much better start as a new nation," he said. Timor-Leste is projected to receive about $3 billion from the project over the next 20 years. (VOA News)

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