Foreign companies join investment conference in Dili

28 November 2005

Dili, Timor-Leste, 28 Nov – Over 30 companies, most of which are not yet in the Timor-Leste market, are taking part in a conference in Dili Monday and Tuesday, organized by TradeInvest, an organization that promotes investment and exports in the country.

The conference, organized as part of the commemorations of the independence of Timor-Leste, includes representatives from 36 companies from Portugal, Australia, the United States, China, Singapore, Indonesia and Macau.

The conference agenda includes the “investment climate” in Timor-Leste, TradeInvest promotional activities, information on foreign investment law and the main investment opportunities in the country.

According to official statistics, the Timor-Leste economy is expected to grow 2.5% this year, almost double the growth recorded in 2004, particularly due to oil revenues that have been driven by oil prices on the international market.

Oil revenues should increase six-fold this year, according to official forecasts, to around US$244 million and this level is expected to be maintained in the medium-term.

After two years of decline, the non-oil Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of Timor-Leste increased in 2004 and is predicted to increase 3% in 2005, says the International Monetary fund (IMF).

Non-oil exports from Timor-Leste totaled US$8 million in 2004, US$7 million of which were accounted for by coffee exports.

According to the most recent World Bank report, from May 2005, foreign investment in Timor-Leste has fallen in the last few years, “although some interest has been shown in concessions for exploration of natural resources, such as fisheries and forestry “. (macauhub)