Timor-Leste’s largest project hosts first international construction exhibition

4 May 2015

Timor-Leste (East Timor) and international companies are taking part this week in Dili in the first International Construction and Building Sector Exhibition, an event promoted by the Timorese authorities that is raising interest among companies in the region.

The event, supported by the State Department for Support and Promotion of the Private Sector (Seapri) and the Business Development Support Institute will be held from Tuesday to Friday in Timor Plaza, the largest private investment project in Timor-Leste.

According to the organisers the event will “open up business opportunities for both domestic and foreign companies” benefiting from “the increase in construction observed in Timor-Leste for the last several years.”

It is estimated that with both public and private projects construction sector business could double in the next five years, driven largely by the development project of the Oe-cusse Ambeno special region.

The event is attracting particular interest among business owners from the Australian city of Darwin, and a delegation of 20 companies led by the International Business Council of the Northern Territory Chamber of Commerce is expected to attend.

Jape Kong Su, the owner of Timor Plaza, one of the examples of the new dynamism of the city of Dili, is the owner of the Jape Group of Companies founded in 1976 in Darwin by a Timorese family who returned to the country after its independence.

Born in Balibo, Jape Kong Su, an East Timorese of Chinese descent, became the largest domestic investor in the country, with this project, which includes a hotel, offices and apartments costing over US$50 million.

Currently, Timor Plaza is one of the most popular places in Dili, featuring a cinema, shops, offices of some of the leading companies in the country, restaurants and apartments.

The wholesale and retail sectors along with construction are the country’s biggest employers and greatest generators of income in the non-oil economy of Timor-Leste, according figures from the Ministry of Finance.

The two sectors accounted for 77 percent of total income generated in the Timorese economy in 2013 when the East Timorese non-oil sector generated about US$1.85 billion.

The construction sector contributed 38 percent of total value added tax (IVA) in 2013, which in the non-oil sector of the economy was US$564.2 million. (macauhub/TL)