(Image Tatoli/Egas Cristovao)

DILI, 01 October 2021 (TATOLI) – The Minister of Finance Minister Rui Agusto Gomes, on behalf of the Government of Timor-Leste and Asian Development Bank (ADB) representative Sunil Mitra today signed a loan agreement worth $135 million for the extension of the runway, the construction of the control tower and the rehabilitation of facilities at the Nicolao Lobato International airport.

The government of Timor-Leste allocated a total of 30 million to finance various civil construction works, land acquisition, tree compensation, and other costs related to the relocation of families in the vicinity of the airport.

Also within the scope of the INLAP expansion and improvement project, the Vice Minister of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation Julio da Silva and the Japanese Ambassador to Timor-Leste, Masami Kinefuchi has Exchanged Notes for the Donation Fund of $44 million.

The donation will be used to construct a new passenger terminal and an electricity supply station for the airport.

Thus, East Timor will be able to meet safety standards, ensure safer and more efficient air transport, which will improve air connectivity with neighboring countries in Asia and the Pacific, and promote tourism and other areas of the economic sector to enable Timor Leste to diversify its economy and, finally, contribute to its accession to ASEAN.

The Minister of Finance Rui Agosto Gomes said Improved air connectivity is really necessary for the development of tourism which is an important wheel for economic growth. goods, services, knowledge, and ideas, through links with major Asian cities: “East Timor needs greater access to international capital, human resources, and environments and better area connectivity will potentially trigger a transformative effect on the economy.”

ADB Southeast Asia Region Department General Director Ramesh Subramaniam said This project is timely. The COVID-19 pandemic disrupted an area of ​​connectivity. East Timor and the world are seeing its unprecedented economic impact.

“This situation shows what is important and restores air connectivity for economic recovery, especially in the regions and countries such as Timor Leste that, last year recorded very low of economic growth and saw a drop in air connectivity of more than 90%. Today is a day long-awaited by all, the day of the international agreement on the President Nicolau Lobato International Airport project,” Ramesh Subramaniam commented today.

At the same place, the Japanese Ambassador to East Timor, Masami Kinefuchi, said the last 20 years were a period of reconstruction after the restoration of the independence.

“I hope that East Timor makes a new phase of growth over the next 20 years, bringing economic and social development, driven by this airport project,” Ambassador Kinefuchi Masami said.

In the same Place Prime Minister Ruak On behalf of the Timorese Government and the Timorese People, and in particular on behalf of travelers, entrepreneurs, citizens, and users, extended the deepest gratitude to all the involved parties saying large-scale projects we will actively promote the economic recovery.

“I would like to express my sincere gratitude to all parties involved in this negotiation that is now taking place, and salute your work, effort, and individual and collective dedication. With this and other large-scale projects, we will actively promote the economic recovery demanded by citizens and we will prepare the country for the new opportunities for economic and social recovery, in the post-COVID-19 context that is fast approaching,” PM said.

 

Journalist : Camilio de Sousa

Editor: Nelia Borges

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