Clinton visits Brunei, East Timor

Reading Time: 2 minutes
Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton meets East Timor Prime Minister Xanana Gusmao. Picture: US State Department

US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton made short visits to Brunei and East Timor this week to hold talks on political and economic issues in the two nations.

Her trip to East Timor on Thursday, September 6, was the first US Secretary of State visit since the tiny nation gained independence in 2002.

Clinton said that the US is seeking to promote economic development to help the country catch up with its more prosperous Southeast Asian neighbors. US agencies have contributed more than $350 million in assistance since 2000, according to the US State Department.

East Timor is recovering from the devastating war for independence from Indonesia, with an economy growing at around 10 per cent per year due to the successful exploitation of oil and gas reservoirs off its south coast in joint-venture projects with Australia. Income from oil and gas exports is used to rebuild the country’s economic infrastructure, of which 70 per cent was destroyed at the height of the independence war in 1999. Today, East Timor’s sovereign wealth fund has surpassed the size of Oman’s at $10 billion, according to the Sovereign Wealth Fund Institute.

Another important economic sector is coffee, which generates about $10 million in revenue last year. Among foreign firms buying East Timorian coffee is US coffee restaurant chain Starbucks.

East Timor is know inviting investors to participate in rebuilding the country. There is an urgent need for investment in roads, ports, communications, electrical grids, education and food security.

On top of the agenda, Clinton promoted economic expansion and announced a $6.5 million scholarship programme for East Timorese students to study in the US.

Clinton’s highly publicsed visit will bring investor attention, as well as greater diplomatic recognition from that of other Asian nations. Recently, Beijing has made a notable presence in East Timor, contributing aid and investment.

Heading to Brunei

Clinton’s later on the day headed to Brunei, the only one of the 10 ASEAN nations she has not visited yet.

Her visit to the small oil sultanate preceeds a number of ASEAN meeting which are slated to be held in Brunei next year as the country is taking over the helm of the 10-member bloc in 2013.  Talks with Brunei’s Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah also revolved around joint-development agreements for oil and gas in the region and territorial conflicts in the South China Sea.

Do you like this post?
  • Fascinated
  • Happy
  • Sad
  • Angry
  • Bored
  • Afraid

Reading Time: 2 minutes

Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton meets East Timor Prime Minister Xanana Gusmao. Picture: US State Department

US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton made short visits to Brunei and East Timor this week to hold talks on political and economic issues in the two nations.

Reading Time: 2 minutes

Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton meets East Timor Prime Minister Xanana Gusmao. Picture: US State Department

US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton made short visits to Brunei and East Timor this week to hold talks on political and economic issues in the two nations.

Her trip to East Timor on Thursday, September 6, was the first US Secretary of State visit since the tiny nation gained independence in 2002.

Clinton said that the US is seeking to promote economic development to help the country catch up with its more prosperous Southeast Asian neighbors. US agencies have contributed more than $350 million in assistance since 2000, according to the US State Department.

East Timor is recovering from the devastating war for independence from Indonesia, with an economy growing at around 10 per cent per year due to the successful exploitation of oil and gas reservoirs off its south coast in joint-venture projects with Australia. Income from oil and gas exports is used to rebuild the country’s economic infrastructure, of which 70 per cent was destroyed at the height of the independence war in 1999. Today, East Timor’s sovereign wealth fund has surpassed the size of Oman’s at $10 billion, according to the Sovereign Wealth Fund Institute.

Another important economic sector is coffee, which generates about $10 million in revenue last year. Among foreign firms buying East Timorian coffee is US coffee restaurant chain Starbucks.

East Timor is know inviting investors to participate in rebuilding the country. There is an urgent need for investment in roads, ports, communications, electrical grids, education and food security.

On top of the agenda, Clinton promoted economic expansion and announced a $6.5 million scholarship programme for East Timorese students to study in the US.

Clinton’s highly publicsed visit will bring investor attention, as well as greater diplomatic recognition from that of other Asian nations. Recently, Beijing has made a notable presence in East Timor, contributing aid and investment.

Heading to Brunei

Clinton’s later on the day headed to Brunei, the only one of the 10 ASEAN nations she has not visited yet.

Her visit to the small oil sultanate preceeds a number of ASEAN meeting which are slated to be held in Brunei next year as the country is taking over the helm of the 10-member bloc in 2013.  Talks with Brunei’s Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah also revolved around joint-development agreements for oil and gas in the region and territorial conflicts in the South China Sea.

Do you like this post?
  • Fascinated
  • Happy
  • Sad
  • Angry
  • Bored
  • Afraid