Subject: East Timor PM ends Portugal visit with call for investment
East Timor PM ends Portugal visit with call for investment 6/12/2008
East Timor’s Prime Minister has capped a two day visit to Portugal with an appeal to Portuguese businesses to invest in his country, saying his Government was readying investment and tax legislation to attract foreign capital.
“We have a legislative package ready to send to parliament. You can trust us, you can invest and gain better benefits”, Xanana Gusmão told a gathering of business leaders in Lisbon late last week.
“We are here to explore opportunities, both for you and for us. We are here to tell our friends that the hour has come to participate with us in the construction of the country”, Prime Minister Gusmão added.
While acknowledging that recent violence and political instability in East Timor was a concern for potential investors, he said security was much improved since he took office 15 months ago and that lasting stability depended on “creating opportunities and conditions for development”.
As to “legal security” for investors, Gusmão reiterated that Dili’s forthcoming legislative package would assure attractive, full guarantees.
The head of Portugal’s trade and investment promotion agency AICEP, Basílio Horta, who sponsored the business meeting, challenged the audience to “help East Timor develop”.
In a related development, Timorese Foreign Minister Zacarias da Costa has held talks in Lisbon with the head of the oil company GALP, Fernando Gomes, later saying they had discussed ways for the Portuguese firm to assume a “greater participation” in the country’s emerging oil and gas sectors.
“We agreed to maintain contacts and see how to study this type of joint participation in possible future partnerships”, da Costa said.
GALP is currently partnered with Italy’s ENI in five Timorese exploration blocks. TPN/Lusa