My respects to His Excellency President of Parliament Arao Noe, Minister Fidelis Leite Magalhães and esteemed colleagues from across government, civil society, and the private sector. I would also like to acknowledge and welcome the Millennium Challenge Corporation team from Washington, DC, who are joining us for this most important event. Thank you for the opportunity to join you all this morning to celebrate the launch of the Government of Timor-Leste Compact Development Team.
I want to take this opportunity to recognize the progress that Timor-Leste has already made on the development of its MCC Compact, thanks to the leadership of Minister Fidelis Magalhães, interim National Executive Director Mariano Carmo, and MCC Country Team Lead Hana Freymiller. I would like to congratulate the Government of Timor-Leste, Ambassador Constancio Pinto and the Compact Development Team for their commitment to develop a program that fosters a strong, job-creating economy, producing new opportunities for growth that reduces poverty and advances regional stability.
The United States and Timor-Leste are close partners, and we look forward to continued collaboration as we develop projects that contribute to economic growth and bring benefits to all Timorese. As you know, the Millennium Challenge Corporation, or MCC, is an innovative United States foreign aid agency. The MCC’s mission is to reduce poverty through economic growth. MCC was founded on the principles of rewarding countries for strong governance, making data and evidence-driven investments, and empowering countries to lead their own development. What sets MCC apart from other donors is its commitment to country ownership. This means partner countries design programs based on their own priorities. This is a program that will truly be by Timor for Timor (husi Timor ba Timor).
As Timor-Leste and MCC embark on this new phase of compact development, the key to our success will be the strength of the partnership between our two teams. I am confident that the longstanding partnership between the United States and Timor-Leste will result in a transformative compact that increases opportunities for all of Timorese. Where the United States goes, we seek partnership. A prosperous, democratic and secure Timor-Leste is good for the United States, good for the region, and good for the world.
In closing, this compact is the latest chapter in our two countries’ relationship, and I look forward to witnessing what our partnership will make possible for the people of Timor-Leste.