Global Insider: ASEAN Membership a Priority for Timor-Leste as Regional Relationships Grow

Global Insider: ASEAN Membership a Priority for Timor-Leste as Regional Relationships Grow

Timor-Leste Prime Minister Xanana Gusmao paid a three-day visit to Vietnam this month to promote bilateral relations. In an email interview, Michael Leach, associate professor of politics and public policy at Australia’s Swinburne University researching Timor-Leste politics, explained Timor-Leste’s foreign policy priorities and its growing role in its region.

WPR: Which countries are Timor-Leste's closest regional partners?

Michael Leach: Indonesia and Australia will remain Timor-Leste’s most important regional partners for the foreseeable future. Indonesia is Timor-Leste’s largest trading partner, though bilateral trade is overwhelmingly skewed in favor of Indonesian exports of essential and consumer goods. Despite minor tensions over small unresolved stretches of their land border, Indonesia continues to be the key supporter and sponsor of Timor-Leste’s predominant foreign policy ambition of accession to the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN).

Keep reading for free!

Get instant access to the rest of this article by submitting your email address below. You'll also get access to three articles of your choice each month and our free newsletter:

Or, Subscribe now to get full access.

Already a subscriber? Log in here .

What you’ll get with an All-Access subscription to World Politics Review:

A WPR subscription is like no other resource — it’s like having a personal curator and expert analyst of global affairs news. Subscribe now, and you’ll get:

  • Immediate and instant access to the full searchable library of tens of thousands of articles.
  • Daily articles with original analysis, written by leading topic experts, delivered to you every weekday.
  • Regular in-depth articles with deep dives into important issues and countries.
  • The Daily Review email, with our take on the day’s most important news, the latest WPR analysis, what’s on our radar, and more.
  • The Weekly Review email, with quick summaries of the week’s most important coverage, and what’s to come.
  • Completely ad-free reading.

And all of this is available to you when you subscribe today.