Subject: LUSA: Near-Sighted Brazilian Investors Missing Opportunities - Ambassador

East Timor: Near-Sighted Brazilian Investors Missing Opportunities - Ambassador 6 Apr-12:06

Brazil's ambassador to Indonesia has lamented the apparent disinterest of his country's entrepreneurs in investing in East Timor as a launching pad for the Southeast Asian market.

"We don't do more business in (East) Timor because we don't want to", Ambassador Jadiel Ferreira de Oliveira told a conference in Brasilia Thursday.

"I tried to take several Brazilian companies there, but they lack an aggressive spirit", he said, adding that Brazilian investors were "too preoccupied with our own problems".

He underlined the possibility of participating in World Bank- backed reconstruction programs worth dlrs 520 million and the strategic importance of East Timor as a platform for entering the Southeast Asian market.

Brazil's presence in East Timor would be welcomed by Indonesia, which fears the growing influence of Australia, de Oliveira said.

What was once a "barrier is now a bridge" and it was "important to take advantage of having a Portuguese-speaking country in Asia's great consumer market", he stressed.

The ambassador noted that since East Timor's 1999 plebiscite for independence from Indonesia interest in the Portuguese language had risen throughout the region.

In January, Brazilian President Fernando Henrique Cardoso visited both East Timor and Indonesia, where he discussed the possibility of "triangular cooperation" between Brasilia, Dili and Jakarta - a perspective which was welcomed in Portugal, the former colonial ruler of both East Timor and Brazil.

SAS -Lusa-

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