Chinese companies interested in East Timor’s electricity sector

17 March 2010

Dili, East Timor, 17 March – Chinese companies are interested in the electricity sector in East Timor, both in production and distribution, the Chinese ambassador to East Timor, Fu Yancong said in Dili Tuesday.

The ambassador denied, however, Chinese intentions to explore natural gas and oil in the Timor Sea.

“So far I have not heard of any Chinese company interested in taking part in exploration and transformation of oil and gas from the Timor Sea,” the diplomat said noting that the only help given to East Timor in that area had been surveys on the potential of onshore exploration, offered to the Timorese government.

Speaking to Portuguese news agency Lusa, the Ambassador said that, “there are some Chinese companies interested in taking part in construction of infrastructures in East Timor,” but noted that the areas in which they would invest were not a government decision.

Fu Yacong added that so far Chinese aid to East Timor included construction of the buildings for the Presidency and the Foreign Ministry.

Other projects supported by China are the construction of 100 apartments to house military personnel, the future Ministry of Defence building which is in the design phase and construction of a primary school that is due to begin soon.

In the agricultural sector, rice plantation is one of the most noteworthy projects in which China is involved, due to the introduction of hybrid rice to replace what is traditionally grown in East Timor, with technical support provided by the Chinese government.

In two consecutive years, Chinese hybrid rice, the yield of which is several times higher, has seen good crops in Timorese soil and an agreement has been signed by the two countries to move ahead to the second phase, which is to extend the project and promote the use of hybrid rice to farmers. (macauhub)