Subject: LUSA: ACP membership will boost European investment, says PM Alkatiri

ACP membership will boost European investment, says PM Alkatiri

Brussels, May 13 (Lusa)- East Timor formally joined the African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) group of nations Tuesday and Dili's prime minister, Mari Alkatiri, said the move will increase European investment into Timor's fragile economy.

"Timor's businessmen want ACP membership to benefit from development aid and find partners to create small to medium-sized firms", said Alkatiri in Brussels after signing the accord to make Timor the ACP's 79th member state.

An ACP-EU ministerial meeting Friday will approve Dili's accession to the Contonu Accord, which controls cooperation between the two regional blocs. Alkatiri said the sectors of Timor's economy that would gain most from EU development aid would be textiles and clothing.

Alkatiri remains in Brussels until Friday to attend the ACP-EU meeting. Before then, he holds talks with a number of senior EU officials, including Foreign Affairs Commissioner Chris Patten and Justice Commissioner António Vitorino.

FPB/CJB -Lusa-

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