Visit by FCDO Chief Economist Professor Adnan Khan to Timor-Leste: Reaffirming UK support for Timor-Leste’s ASEAN Accession

Following the launch of the new UK-Timor-Leste collaboration on the Rules of Origin Certification Project, Professor Adnan Khan attended the Government of Timor-Leste's Rules of Origin Committee meeting, chaired by DG Carlos Ximenes, to discuss next steps.
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International Mudansa- The UK’s Foreign Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) Chief Economist, Professor Adnan Khan, visited Timor-Leste on 14-15 December 2023 to enhance bilateral collaboration on economic development. The visit comes just two months after FCDO Minister for the Indo-Pacific, Anne-Marie Trevelyan, visited Timor-Leste and became the first UK minister to visit since the country gained independence in 2002.

During his visit, Professor Khan met with the Central Bank Governor Helder Lopes to discuss how the UK can support the development of Timor-Leste’s financial services sector through the ASEAN Economic Integration Programme (AEIP), which launched earlier this year. He also met with Minister for Trade and Industry Filipus Nino Pereira and launched a flagship UK-funded project supporting Timor-Leste’s accession into the ASEAN Economic Community (AEC).

The project will help Timor-Leste develop a nationwide certificate of origin scheme, which will benefit local exporters as the country looks to deepen integration into regional and global value chains. The launch reaffirms the UK’s sustained support for Timor-Leste’s smooth accession into ASEAN.

Professor Khan also delivered a lecture at the National University of East Timor to share the UK’s revamped approach on International Development, as reflected in the recently launched white paper titled “International Development in a Contested World: ending extreme poverty and tackling climate change”.

FCDO Chief of Economist Professor Adnan Khan, said:

“I was delighted to be in Dili for the first time to launch this important project. Timor-Leste has made huge strides in its WTO accession, and now the UK looks forward to supporting Timor-Leste as it seeks ASEAN accession.

UK Ambassador to Timor-Leste Dominic Jermey said:

“The UK is committed to deepening our partnership with Timor-Leste, and I’m delighted that the FCDO’s chief economic Professor Adnan Khan visited Dili recently to discuss ways we can enhance our cooperation. The launch of the ASEAN Economic Community Accession project demonstrates our commitment to supporting Timor-Leste’s smooth accession into ASEAN. We look forward to seeing the benefits this project will bring to the Timorese economy”.

UK Ambassador to ASEAN Sarah Tiffin said:

“As a committed ASEAN Dialogue partner, the UK is committed to assisting Timor-Leste through the process of its accession to ASEAN. The visit by FCDO Chief Economist Professor Adnan Khan to Timor-Leste and the initiation of a UK-funded project dedicated to facilitating Timor-Leste’s accession to the ASEAN Economic Community project are concrete demonstrations of this strong commitment.

Minister for Trade and Industry, H.E. Filipus Nino Pereira, said:

“I would like to thank the UK government for its support. This project will help us meet the ASEAN and WTO accession requirements. This initiative also reflects our ongoing commitment to diversifying our economy and deepening our regional economic integration”.


For further information please contact British Embassy Jakarta Media and Comms

 Faye Belnis – +62 8118777 762

Press Release 

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