Macdonald S on the DSP

Patrick Bond pbond at
Mon Nov 22 22:57:56 MST 1999

On 23 Nov 99, at 16:52, Philip L Ferguson wrote:
> I would think it is more accurate to say
> that we are seeing the transition of East Timor from an Indonesian
> province into a UN/imperialist neo-colony.

Specifically, coke and pizza are cool for ET... but don't dare
mention industrial-development subsidies:

> >Copyright 1999 InterPress Service, all rights reserved.
> >           Worldwide distribution via the APC networks.
> >
> >                       *** 18-Nov-99 ***
> >
> >Title: DEVELOPMENT: World Bank, East Timorese Differ on
Economic Policy
> >
> >By Bob Burton
> >
> >CANBERRA, Nov 18 (IPS) - The World Bank mission to East
Timor on
> >Thursday released its assessment report on East Timor's
> >reconstruction, one that had involved ''tough discussions'' over
> >economic policy with independence leader Xanana Gusmao.
> >
> >While Gusmao recently criticised the mission for pushing its
> >own agenda and not properly consulting the East Timorese
> >leadership, the World Bank was at pains to emphasise that it
> >prepared the report after pairing each expert with an East
> >Timorese expert.
> >
> >In releasing the report, the World Bank country director for
> >East Timor, Klaus Rohland, said the team estimated that a
> >year reconstruction programme for East Timor will cost a total of
> >300 million U.S. dollars.
> >
> >Rohland said medium-term priorities included restoring basic
> >infrastructure for agricultural production, restoring education,
> >health and banking services and re-establishing a civil service.
> >
> >Rohland trod carefully when releasing the report, apparently
> >keen on not being perceived as dictating to East Timor what
> >directions it should take.
> >
> >''The responsibility of the donors is to help the East Timorese
> >without imposing our design on them. It is them they know
> >he said.
> >
> >Rohland said that during a four-hour meeting with Gusmao to
> >discuss the report, he had been ''extremely pleased with our
> >and our cooperation''.
> >
> >However, under questioning, Rohland conceded there was
> >over economic policy direction. ''We had tough discussions on
> >issues where they had ideas that we didn't think we should
> >he said.
> >
> >''For instance in the area of subsidies (for industry
> >development) where we drew on our international experience to
> >explain how subsidies had worked in other countries and how
> >had failed in most of the countries. There will always be
> >disagreements on the margin but we have that buy in on the
> >thrust of the report,'' he explained.
> >
> >The mission's report will be presented to an international
> >donors conference, chaired by the World Bank, on Dec 17 in
> >
> >Rohland said that the Tokyo conference with include the Asian
> >Development Bank, the International Monetary Fund and UN
> >along with donor governments including Japan, former coloniser
> >Portugal, and Australia.
> >
> >East Timorese leaders and non-government organisations will
> >attend with observer status, he said.
> >
> >One of the seven-member East Timorese Transitional Council,
> >Joao Carrascalao, acknowledges there will be ''very difficult days
> >ahead'' for the territory on the way to independence.
> >
> >''We will have a transitional period in establishing an
> >independent East Timor that will be very, very difficult. It is a
> >challenge we accept. We know that in the first years East Timor
> >will be reliant on international assistance,'' he pointed out.
> >
> >''The main medium-term challenge will be education. The
> >majority of the people of East Timor are illiterate and we know
> >that our future as a nation will rely on well educated people,''
> >Carrascalao added.
> >
> >''We also know that having an empty stomach is not the best
> >situation for people to learn. This is why our second priority is
> >developing agricultural capacity,'' he said.
> >
> >The East Timorese' first goal is achieving self-sufficiency in
> >food and then hopefully exporting food to places like Darwin in
> >northern Australia, he continued.
> >
> >With an eye on the booming tourism industry in the nearby
> >Indonesian province of Bali, Carrascalao says the development
of a
> >''quality tourism industry'' will be critical to the economy.
> >
> >''While tourism will give us some revenue, agriculture will
> >provide for rural development which is more important than the
> >development of natural resources,,'' he says.
> >
> >The World Bank is not the only organisation that has come in
> >for criticism from Gusmao.
> >
> >Earlier this week he criticised international aid organisations
> >for not consulting with the National Council for Timorese
> >Resistance (CNRT), the political arm of East Timor's
> >movement.
> >
> >''We are not informed of their meetings, which are run in a
> >clandestine way,'' Gusmao told reporters. ''It is now clear there
> >must be cooperation with the CNRT,'' he said.
> >
> >The executive director of the Australian Council for Overseas
> >Aid, Janet Hunt, says she understands Gusmao's frustration
> >the international aid operation.
> >
> >''The CNRT have not been given the support they need. They
> >not allocated decent office space in Dili by the UN, nor do they
> >have the transport and communications equipment adequate to
> >tasks they face,'' she said.
> >
> >''If the international community is serious about consulting
> >with Timorese leaders as the reconstruction effort goes forward,
> >they have to given them the means to operate,'' she said.
> >
> >East Timor's Catholic leader, Bishop Carlos Belo, has echoed
> >Gusmao's concerns. He warned there was a danger that without
> >consultation with local leaders, the UN mission to rebuild East
> >Timor could benefit foreign interests most and not the people in
> >remote regions of East Timor.
> >
> >Already, the Australian government is working hard to make
> >Australian business wins a major slice of the reconstruction
> >in East Timor.
> >
> >In October, Australian government agencies sponsored a major
> >conference -- without a single East Timorese speaker -- to
> >business on how to win reconstruction contracts in East Timor.
> >
> >Already some 4,000 companies, including 2,600 from the US
> >90 from Australia, have registered as possible contractors with
> >the United Nations.
> >
> >''Use East Timor to break into the bigger, lucrative
> >multilateral procurement market. This is the single best
> >opportunity to position your company in this market,'' Australia's
> >trade commissioner to Washington, Alistair Nicholas, told the
> >strong audience.
> >
> >While East Timorese struggle to get basic food and shelter
> >organised before the imminent arrival of the monsoon season,
> >Nicholas suggested that business could do well providing a wide
> >range of services. Said the trade official: ''Don't forget the
> >Coke and pizza market.'' (END/IPS/ap-dv-ip/bb/js/99)

(Footnote from Johannesburg: the World Bank's International
Finance Corporation has quite a wide portfolio of investments in
post-apartheid South Africa, amongst which are Dominos Pizza
Patrick Bond
(Wits University Graduate School of Public and Development Management)
home: 51 Somerset Road, Kensington 2094, Johannesburg
office: 22 Gordon Building, Wits University Parktown Campus
mailing address: PO Box 601 WITS 2050
phones:  (h) (2711) 614-8088; (o) 488-5917; fax 484-2729
emails:  (h) pbond at; (o) bondp at

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