The Australian Timor-Leste Business Council has issued a press release following the premiere screening of the movie Time to Draw the Line at Parliament House in Canberra earlier this month. In the release the President of the Council, Mr. Denis Fernandez says:
“The film is yet another timely reminder in how patient our Timorese friends have been with the Australian Government. The Timorese are continuing to struggle for state sovereignty because the Australian Government will not work with the Timorese to establish the maritime boundary under The United Nations Convention on Law of the Sea”.
The Business Council was established in 2002 and is the peak, non-profit organisation established to promote stronger business relations between Australia and Timor-Leste. It is a member based, national association with chapters in the Australian Captial Territory, New South Wales, Northern Territory, Queensland, South Australia, Tasmania, Victoria and Western Australia.
The Council has consistently put the position that finalising the maritime boundary would be good for business and in the recent press release Mr. Fernandez and put this view:
"The ATLBC believes the certainty provided by the delimiting of the maritime boundary will be good for business in both Timor-Leste and Australia."
Here at TIMFO we have put the position that it is in Australia's national interest to establish a maritime boundary with its near neighbour for at least four reasons:
- It would complete our maritime border work
- It would be good for Australian business
- It would enhance our international reputation
- It is good for regional security
In these months ahead when the Conciliation Commission is trying to help Australia and East Timor come to an agreement about the border it is a good time to remind our politicians that we want to see a border that is fair and settled as soon as possible because we know that certainty boosts business.
In the mean time, as the ATLBC will tell you, foreign investors are already taking advantage of 'first mover' benefits within Timor and opportunities await.
For more on the ATLBC visit their website.