Subject: JP: Belu residents told to use local markets, with or without East Timorese traders

Jakarta Post

Belu residents told to use local markets, with or without East Timorese traders

ATAMBUA, East Nusa Tenggara (Antara): Residents in Belu regency are urged to start using local markets with or without the presence of East Timorese traders, a local figure said on Sunday.

"The Belu regency administration has built markets in Mota'ain, Turiskain and Metamauk but local residents seem reluctant to trade there because of the absence of traders from East Timorese," said Hendri Manek.

"But it seems that the local administration prefer the presence of East Timorese traders. What a waste. Local traders should use the markets with or without the East Timorese," he said.

Hendri also called on the administration and nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) to hold trading activities in the markets to help local villagers.

Meanwhile Belu vice regent Gregorius Mau Bili Fernandez said that his administration had instructed district heads to start activities at the markets especially those border East Timor.

Smuggling is rife in the border since East Timor decided to secede from Indonesia since most of its goods are imported from other countries, especially Australia which supports East Timor's independence.

The East Timorese, however, unable to buy those imported goods due to their high price and prefer cheaper Indonesian goods as well as their familiarity with Indonesian goods.


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