Dili, May 13, 2024 – President José Ramos-Horta today commended the government’s efforts to secure Timor-Leste’s accession to the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) by 2025.


In a meeting with Vice Minister of Foreign Affairs Milena Rangel and the “Future Leaders for ASEAN” team, the President expressed appreciation for the progress made on the roadmap towards ASEAN membership. “Joining ASEAN is not just about diplomacy, but national economic development which is the bedrock of this endeavor,” Ramos-Horta stated. “As we prepare to join in 2025, we must thoroughly review all requirements to align with the organization’s objectives.”


The Head of State highlighted Vice Minister Rangel’s achievements and underscored the importance of the “Future Leaders” program in grooming future talent to tackle regional integration challenges. “Timor-Leste views ASEAN accession as a key priority to spur economic growth through regional cooperation and market access,” the President affirmed.


During the briefing, Rangel and her team updated Ramos-Horta on initiatives to harmonize policies and infrastructure with ASEAN standards ahead of the targeted 2025 membership.
Timor-Leste’s bid to join the 10-nation bloc has gained momentum in recent years, with the government implementing reforms to meet the economic, political, and social criteria for accession.

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