Dili, February, 16th, 2021 – His Excellency Prime Minister Taur Matan Ruak, welcomed in the audience, this Tuesday, at the Government Palace, in Dili, the European Union Ambassador in Timor-Leste, Andrew Jacobs, and his team, to discuss cooperation between Timor-Leste and the European Union, namely the situation of COVID-19 and access to vaccines through COVAX, good governance, green economic recovery, and among other issues.
Firstly, Ambassador Andrew Jacobs praised and congratulated Prime Minister Taur Matan Ruak, for his successful leadership in fighting the COVID-19 pandemic, enabling Timor-Leste to become one of the few countries in the world that, since the beginning of the pandemic, in December 2019, to date, have not registered any case of death from this disease.
The European Union ambassador has also updated data on the various cooperation projects already underway and promised that he will continue to support Timor-Leste in the development process. The EU is also ready to support the green economic recovery and economic diversification that the Government is planning.
The ambassador also appreciated the democratic process in Timor-Leste, considering that democracy in Timor-Leste is better than in other Asian countries.
On the other hand, the Head of Government thanked the support that the EU has been giving to Timor-Leste has also updated the Government’s programs and priorities under his term, especially the reforms currently being carried out by the Government, such as fiscal and financial management reform, public administration reform and legislative reform, which contribute to efficiency and effectiveness and reduce bureaucracy in governance. The Prime Minister also referred to the e-government program and other priorities, including the Excellence Training Centre, which the Government plans to build in Metinaro, and which is currently in preparation, a project for which it also requested support from the European Union.
The Head of Government also thanked the EU Ambassador for his congratulations on the Government’s fight against COVID-19 and stressed that this success is collective, and includes the support of the international community, especially the EU. However, the Chief Executive emphasized that Timor-Leste is still in a dangerous situation, due to the continued existence of illegal crossing on the borderline between Timor-Leste and the Republic of Indonesia, and because of the cases of local transmission of the disease in the Indonesian province of NTT, that may lead to local transmission in East Timor as well.
The Head of Government also explained the Government’s anticipation measures and policy, at this moment, regarding control and mitigation as much as possible, seeking to avoid local infection. END/M-GPM