Venidora Oliveira – Non-government organization (NGO) Haburas asks the government to explain why it is not doing more to promote local products and ecotourism across the country.
The Head of Division for Advocacy and Research at Haburas, Roberto Aleixo da Cruz said when the government holds ceremonies or even when fixing playgrounds it purchases and flies in flowers from overseas.
"The flowers come from Bali. Even crocodile decorations also comes from overseas. We have these things but we do not use and promote them," said da Cruz in Farol, Dili.
He said the government has created many cooperative groups to enrich and promote ecotourism across the country but falls short in promoting this sector.
He urged the Secretary of state for cooperatives to work together with all ministries, in particular when there are events in the country so more local products are used. "Actually, when we hold an event we should not use foreign flowers but we should be promoting what we have."
In response to these concerns, the secretary of state for cooperatives Filipe Nino Pereira said the government is working hard to promote local products through fairs and expo's. "We organize these exhibitions locally and internationally," said SE Pereira.
He acknowledged the concerns raised by the National NGOs are true and the Secretary of state for cooperatives vowed to keep making efforts and suggest across the government that they should use what Timor-Leste has. So we can learn to love our own products," said SE Pereira.