Subject: Thumbs up for Timor mission: Chamber

also NT businessman's Dili resort dream


Thumbs up for Timor mission: Chamber

Posted 5 hours 9 minutes ago

The president of the Northern Territory Chamber of Commerce says it was worthwhile for the Chief Minister's Office to lead a delegation of Darwin business people to Dili.

The delegation of 60 business people and three Government ministers arrived back from the three day trip today.

George Roussos from the Chamber of Commerce says the two cities share many similarities so it is important to build business ties between them.

"Members of ours, in their own businesses, have made contact, have renewed their relationships and some have come back with some orders."


Northern Territory News

NT businessman's Dili resort dream


May 29th, 2009

A TERRITORY businessman wants to build a series of beachfront holiday villas in East Timor.

Darwin property developer Henry Yap said he expected East Timor's tourism industry to be flourishing within five to 10 years. "It is something that will definitely happen," he said. "If they do it right, they have huge potential in this area."

Mr Yap, who fled East Timor as a 10-year-old in 1975, last year signed a 55-year lease on a 12,000sqm waterfront property located 3km east of Dili and wants to build 60 individual one-bedroom units with water views.

"Imagine getting up in the morning and seeing this view," he said.

Mr Yap arrived in Dili yesterday as part of a 60-member NT government and business delegation, which included representatives from education, tourism, shipping and trade.

He said East Timor, a 75-minute flight from Darwin, would be popular with Australians as an adventure tourism destination.

"It will be like Bali, but 20 years ago, before it got crowded," he said.

But he said the tourism industry would only pick up if the East Timorese Government improved infrastructure and amenities.

In the meantime, he said his villas could be used as semi-permanent accommodation for expats, UN workers, contractors and business people.

Mr Yap yesterday attended the NT Chamber of Commerce's business forum in Dili to learn more about the East Timorese Government's administration and laws for his development.

Acting Prime Minister Jose Luis Guterres told the forum that East Timor and the NT shared a special relationship.

"East Timor and the Northern Territory share more than just crocodiles," he said. "We enjoy strong ties and friendly relations between our two countries and government."

Mr Guterres said East Timor's economy grew by 12 per cent last year and is expected to reach between 8 and 10 per cent this year.

NT Chief Minister Paul Henderson said East Timor's growth was good for the Territory.

"It will create opportunities for people in Darwin," he said.

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