(some inspirations for brainstorming before 2013)
Statistically, perhaps the production from Bayu Undang and Kitan are already starting to decrease if we analyse the figures rationally. This is means that we need to provide a substitution to replace Bayu Undang and Kitan to anticipate economic turbulence or big gaps in the future. Currently, we all expecting Greater Sunrise to produce oil and be installed onshore. Our big concern is what will be the situation if we fail in our negotiations on Greater Sunrise and at the same time Bayu Undang and Kitan slows productivity decreasing in the near future. There is a great need to diversify and become less dependent on imports as a huge proportion of our oil money leaves the country because of the great import/export imbalance. This could cause a financial crisis and have serious consequences on a population with sees resources draining away as well as having a negative impact on the National Plan of 2011 to 2030. It is good to be aware also that our big concern is not only to think for the time factor to join ASEAN, but also to focus our attention on other factors that may have a destabilising influence such as lack of jobs.
The g7+ has shown the international community that Timor-Leste can take a leading position and deserves its place in ASEAN at a future convenient time, not only at the consensus of negotiations and also to maximise bargaining opportunities. We believe that from the perspective of the 11 Desk within the ASEAN Secretariat, Timor-Leste will play its role in inviting ASEAN to contribute to the g7+ in reference to the Charter of ASEAN that is humane. As in other post conflict countries there are challenges and solutions. Timor-Leste also has its own approach through the National Development Plan starting with social capital, infrastructure, economic development, diplomacy, stability and security matters. These are the priorities for ongoing development, including in the area of mines exploration such as oil and gas, revenue, benefits and its consequences.
As we all know, our half island country needs serious environmental protection for future generations and this can have serious consequences in terms of climate change versus economic growth. If we fail to bring Greater Sunrise it will affect negatively on our economic growth base. But if we accomplish the goal to bring the pipeline to Timor-Leste in the near future it will boost our economic growth and welfare of our people. As mentioned above, we have to be care a look at the potential damage to our half island country where the chemical liquids from oil and gas industry will contaminate and invade the land and water during 10 to 30 years and perhaps beyond.
To anticipate economic development, actions have to be taken from today to assure our economic future such as we have to activate all potential resources especially provided by the natural resources. We can start from those easy tasks like establishing a salt factory in Atabae, Manatuto and Laga, High quality drinking water from mountains, high quality fish factories, various beans production, good quality of cattle/pork to support demands from big markets like Indonesia (with more than 235.000.000 population), Taiwan and Thailand. To achieve this, we must use revenue from oil and gas to invest in Agriculture, Education, Health, infrastructure and Tourism (eco-tourism) in order to avoid big gaps and strong financial turbulence. This would mean using the state budget now and in the future that would demand us invest in these money generation areas.
Our National Plan is an ambitious plan that must be rational and engage with our real challenges in the field of production in the future. To anticipate all of the challenges, today we have to be pro-active in identifying and consolidating all natural resources through packages of national research in all parts of the country to find potential resources for eco-Tourism development by involving local people as partners and to benefit local people from year to year. Our aim is to use eco-Tourism to reach traditional tourism in the future to support Agriculture, Health, Education, Infrastructure and huge industry.
To reach all the issues mentioned above, through the National Division of Bilateral and the Division of Cooperation of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation of RDTL, we must clearly decide to take action for our wide range policy for Cooperation which will covers the areas of Economic, Investments and developments in all sectors.
Starting from 2013 to 2017, we have to establish a main engine for the development of Timor-Leste by installed medium industry (see paragraph 3 above) to respond to the gap and economic turbulence that would face Timor-Leste when Bayu Undang and Kitan conclude its production, while at the same time waiting for the revenue from Greater Sunrise coming to Timor-Leste.
There are no arguments for Timor-Leste to say no to the productivity and huge actions from 2013 to 2017 in all Institutions of Government in the country and outside. Our country is rich in Natural Resources, but our ability to produce is very poor caused by many factors! We have to create a balance between the potential of our natural resources and the potential of our CAPACITY and SERIOUS ACTIONS towards our goals in the region and the international community. Also we have to recognize and be realistic that from now on, through each Government Institution we really need good potential in order to travel safely and arrive on time at our final destination as per our common concern. Thank you and God Bless all of us. END