Yohanes Maharso Joharsoyo, Jakarta – Indonesia and Timor Leste inked a bilateral agreement to support Timor Leste's membership at the World Trade Organization (WTO). The agreement was signed during the Senior Official Meeting WTO in Geneva on October 23, 2023.
"Signing this agreement will be the catalyst for bigger Indonesia-Timor Leste collaborations in the coming years. Indonesia is firm in its position to fully support Timor Leste's accession to WTO and ASEAN," said Djatmiko Bris Witjaksono, the International Trade Negotiations DG in a written statement on Monday, October 30, 2023.
The agreement was signed by Febrian A. Ruddyard, Permanent Representative of Indonesia for the UN, WTO, and Other International Organizations in Geneva, and Maria de Lourdes Martins de Sousa Bessa, Ambassador and Permanent Representative of the Democratic Republic of Timor Leste for the UN Office and Other International Organization in Geneva.
Indonesia is committed to ensuring Timor Leste could become the 155th member of WTO. The membership will be officiated in February 2024 during a Ministerial Meeting of WTO in Abu Dhani, UAE.
Earlier, Timor Leste also inked several bilateral agreements with eight other members of WTO, namely Australia, New Zealand, Japan, Cambodia, EU, Philippines, Canada, and the US.
"This support marked a new stage of trade relations between Indonesia and Timor Leste. Indonesia gained market access, for goods and services which will be implemented for all members of the WTO. Timor Leste must uphold WTO's provisions in the future," said Djatmiko.
The total trade between both countries from January this year to August amounted to US$226.1 million, rising 21.41% compared to the previous year. Throughout 2022, the total trade between Indonesia-Timor Leste was US$301.5 million, while the imports were US$4.7 million, and the exports amounted to US296.7 million. The trade surplus amounted to US$292 million.