East Timor’s government says country shows world’s second best economic growth for 2008

31 July 2009

Dili, East Timor, 31 July – East Timor showed the world’s second best economic growth in 2008, and projections for the next two years were also above expected figures, said a Timorese government spokesperson.

Agio Pereira, secretary of state of the Council of Ministers said that East Timor had shown economic growth of 12.8 percent in 2008 despite the worldwide recession.

This value represents increases of 44 percent in the number of taxpayers, 46 percent in direct taxation and 56 percent in fees related to business activity in East Timor.

In the struggle against unemployment, which affects 20 percent of the 1.1 million inhabitants, the Government plans to create around 45,000 jobs from public investment planned for this year.

Data from the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) indicate that around 90 percent of the Timorese workforce is involved in agriculture, a sector which continues to be marked by seasonal conditions, unreliability and subsistence farming.

Around half of the Timorese population live below the poverty line, subsisting on only the equivalent of US$0.88 per day, although the per capita Gross Domestic Product in 2008 was US$4,500.

East Timor currently stands in 158th place on the list of 179 countries drawn up by the UNDP relating to Human Development, which makes the country less developed than the Asian continent. (macauhub)

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