Malaysia and Timor-Leste pledge to boost ties, explore new cooperation areas

Malaysian Foreign Minister Datuk Seri Mohamad Hasan (left) and Timor-Leste’s Foreign and Cooperation Minister Bendito dos Santos Freitas during the meeting. - Photo: Bernama

PUTRAJAYA (Bernama): Malaysia and Timor-Leste on Tuesday have expressed a commitment to further strengthen their existing bilateral ties and have agreed to explore new areas of cooperation, particularly in trade, investment, higher education and connectivity.

The matter was discussed during a meeting between Foreign Minister Datuk Seri Mohamad Hasan and Timor-Leste’s Foreign and Cooperation Minister Bendito dos Santos Freitas on Tuesday.

In a statement, Malaysia’s Foreign Ministry stated that both ministers exchanged notes on an agreement by the Timor-Leste’s government to grant a parcel of land to the government of Malaysia as a gesture of appreciation for its continued assistance and contributions to Timor-Leste.

"This parcel of land will enable Malaysia to construct its new Chancery building and an official residence in Dili," the statement read.

Bendito Freitas, who arrived here for a three-day visit from Monday, had visited the Petronas Twin Towers for a briefing on Petronas’ oil and gas exploration activities.

He also paid a courtesy call on Transport Minister Anthony Loke, which was followed by the signing of an Air Services Agreement between Malaysia and Timor-Leste.

This agreement will enhance cooperation in air services and boost people-to-people connectivity, the statement said.

According to the ministry, bound by warm and friendly ties since Timor-Leste gained independence on May 20, 2002, the partnership has been further reinforced through this visit.

In 2023, the total bilateral trade between Malaysia and Timor-Leste was US$43.7 million (RM196.7 million).

Malaysia’s total exports to Timor-Leste in 2023 were US$43.3 million (RM195.0 million), while total imports from Timor-Leste amounted to US$0.4 million (RM1.7 million).- Bernama

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