REGIONAL TOUR PAYS OFF

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 08 February, 2000, 12:00am
UPDATED : Tuesday, 08 February, 2000, 12:00am
 

East Timor will enjoy a windfall as a result of its leaders' Asian tour.


Abundant economic, political and technical aid had been pledged for the new nation, said independence leaders Xanana Gusmao and Jose Ramos Horta.


'Our trip has been fruitful,' Mr Gusmao said.


Mr Ramos Horta said the visits had been 'so successful I'm embarrassed'.


Especially welcome from the visits to Singapore, Beijing, Seoul, Bangkok and Manila were training assistance programmes.


These mainly involve agriculture, administration, education and management. China alone pledged 50 million yuan (HK$47 million) for agriculture and fisheries projects.


The Manila-based Asian Development Bank said yesterday it had agreed on the requests of Mr Gusmao and Mr Ramos Horta to co-ordinate pledges made by Singapore, Thailand and the Philippines to help East Timor rebuild its economy and government. South Korean firms will build a parliament and cultural centre.


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