Subject: AN: Indonesian-E Timor Trade

INDONESIAN-EAST TIMOR TRADE RELATIONS PROSPECTIVE

Dili, E Timor, Oct 20 (ANTARA) - Indonesia-East Timor trade relations have good prospects in future so that there is glimmer of hope that certain parts of their common borderline will eventually be opened for across-the-border trade activities, an Indonesian representative official said.

Kristio Wahyon, chief of the Indonesian Interest Section in Dili, made the remark on Saturday in response to a rising trade activity between Indonesia and East Timor especially air flights, fuel oil sale and other transactions in other basic commodities for Timorese people.

"I am optimistic that cooperation between the two countries will be better and more prospective in the future. People in East Nusa Tenggara (NTT) which directly shares a border with East Timor could immediately read business opportunities in hope of stemming US dollar floating in the air without passing through their territory.

It was said that billions of rupiah "flew" over the territory of NTT to Dili when East Timor was still an integral part of Indonesia and now billions of dollar rupiah which flew from Dili and then passed over the territory of NTT landed in Kupang, Bali and Java especially Surabaya and Jakarta.

"Now it is time for people in NTT and East Indonesia regions to start opening a new trade link to Timor Lorosae," he said.

According to him, in the first semester of 2001, Indonesia had reportedly grabbed around US $ 19.07 million.

For Pertamina, fuel oil and liquefied natural gas l from April to December 2000 succeeded in attaining around US $ 14,062 dollars, while Merpati for the time being has reported a profit of about US $ 1.311 million.

The number of foreign nationals living in Timor Lorosae is approximately 13,000. Of that number, about 1,200 on average spent their holidays in Bali. During their stay there, each of them spent about US $ 500 per head for one visit.

"So dependece of Timor Lorosae'se economy on Indonesia is quite big and there is no any single product from Timor Lorosae being marketed. Hence, this is a good opporunity for Indonesia.


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