This prediction was made yesterday by UNTAETs Peter Galbraith in an interview with STL. Galbraith is the main negotiator on the Timor Gap issue with Australia. He is also the Minister for Political Affairs in the Transition Cabinet. He said, in the negotiations, he was working and negotiating for and on behalf of the Timorese people.
East Timorese must have the confidence that in five years their country will really matter in the Southeast Asian region in terms of wealth and natural resources, said Galbraith who in the coming months will continue negotiating with Australia.
He is using the 90:10 formula for the distribution of oil and gas royalties from the Timor Gap. This means that for every dollar earned from oil, East Timor will get 90 cents and Australia 10 cents.
With that formula, Galbraith stressed, East Timors present royalties of USD3 million a year will increase to USD300 million a year within a period of between five to 10 years. If that calculation is accurate, STL estimates, the whole of East Timors reconstruction can be paid for without any outside help from donors.