ADB and JICA Team Up to Help Timor-Leste Prepare for ASEAN Membership

DILI, TIMOR-LESTE – Government ministers and officials, Asian Development Bank  (ADB) staff, and representatives from the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) met today to prioritize actions to get Timor-Leste ready for Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) membership.

Timor-Leste applied for membership in ASEAN in March 2011.

“ADB is pleased to work with JICA in supporting the Government of Timor-Leste as it pursues closer economic ties with Asia,” said Shane Rosenthal, Resident Representative of ADB’s Timor-Leste Resident Mission.

ADB and the Government of Timor-Leste are cooperating to get the country ready to benefit from closer economic ties with Southeast Asia through a technical assistance initiative. The ADB support will help Timor-Leste to create or amend legislation to comply with ASEAN requirements, forecast and plan for economic opportunities and challenges created by ASEAN membership, and strengthen government officials’ skills in areas needed to fulfill the commitments of ASEAN membership.

Today’s workshop was organized by the Timor-Leste Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation with the support of ADB.

During the workshop, stakeholders planned priority action steps to address Timor-Leste’s capacity challenges related to ASEAN membership and integration.

ADB's long-term strategic framework, Strategy 2020, makes regional cooperation and integration one of the five core areas for achieving its mission to reduce poverty in Asia and the Pacific. ADB is integrating regional cooperation and integration into all operations to help developing member countries address regional challenges and opportunities through collective action.