Government of Timor-Leste wants economy to grow to more than 7.0% over the next five years

25 July 2018

The Timor-Leste (East Timor) government wants the country’s economy to grow at an average rate of over 7.0% and the unemployment rate to be less than 10% over the next five years, according to the government programme, which will be discussed this Wednesday in parliament.

One of the priorities of the government programme, quoted by Portuguese news agency Lusa, is the promotion of employment, especially for young people, with the aim of creating at least 60,000 new jobs, keeping the unemployment rate “to a single digit” and reducing the minimum poverty rate to 10% by 2023.

The Timorese population is 1.2 million, with annual growth of 2.3% and more than half of the population (51.2%) aged under 20, which means that “in the next five to ten years, hundreds of thousands of young people will enter the labour market.”

The government document stresses the importance of the private sector as “one of the main drivers of the national economy, ensuring job creation and, as such, being one of the major factors in the fight against poverty.”

However, it notes that “the development of the private sector in Timor-Leste does has not progressed because it is largely limited to state projects and has no access to credit and long-term financing at affordable interest rates.

Therefore, one of the measures proposed is the creation of the Timor-Leste Development Bank (BDTL), owned by the State and with the contribution of Timorese capital, in order to “facilitate access to long-term financing with affordable interest rates.”

There are also plans to create Investimentos de Timor-Leste (TLIC), which will function as a “state investment company,” to carry out “commercial investments that allow a big financial return or induce multiplier effects for socio-economic development,” focused on “domestic investment in the country.” (macauhub)