DILI, 23 november 2023 (TATOL) – The Prime Minister, Kay Rala Xanana Gusmão pledged to implement Timor-Leste’s cross-cutting policies, including the development of social and economic capital, infrastructure, and the governance sector, which are vital to boost economic development and create conditions for entrepreneurship.
The Prime Minister made the comments during the Timor-Leste International Business Forum 2023, with the theme: “Discovering Blue and Green Opportunities for Sustainable Investment.”
“The Government’s priorities are clear. We want to diversify the economy through the development of productive sectors (agriculture, forestry, livestock, fishing, tourism, oil and minerals, and the manufacturing industry), and we want to promote private sector investment, to produce products locally,” explained Gusmão.
He said the Government is developing a comprehensive and transparent financial market to facilitate investment in strategic sectors and drive economic growth within a sustainable and diversified non-oil economy.
“We are working with the Central Bank of Timor-Leste to promote the development of the financial sector, by creating a favorable investment environment, facilitating the commercial activities of the banking sector, insurance institutions, microcredit institutions, and the financial market in Timor-Leste,” said Prime Minister.
He added that the government is also working to address some of the critical problems facing private sector investors in Timor-Leste – access to long-term credit and financing, and exorbitant interest rates: “For this reason, we will create the Timor-Leste Development Bank, one of this Government’s crown jewels, with the objective of facilitating access to long-term financing, with affordable interest rates.”
Gusmão said, therefore, the Government is working to develop basic infrastructure and improve access to markets.
“The Government is working to reform public administration systems and the management of finances and financing to the private sector. And diplomatically, we are making every effort to establish cooperative frameworks that contribute to the sharing of experiences, best practices, and expertise in all development sectors,” stressed Prime Minister. “Diversifying our economy is one of the main goals to be achieved by this Government. We recognize the need to create the fiscal and bureaucratic conditions to encourage national and international investors to take a chance on Timor-Leste.”
He emphasized that the Government is working to ensure that Timorese have access to education, professional training, and internships in friendly countries for skills development.
The 2011-2030 Strategic Development Plan, which aims to develop social capital and the economic, infrastructure, and governance sectors, was reinforced in the Ninth Constitutional Government Program.
Prime Minister pointed out five necessary conditions to develop the national private sector: “The Government is acting on each of these conditions, namely: Political and economic stability; Reform of the legal framework that offers security to investors, in terms of guaranteeing property rights, contract enforcement, and resolution of commercial disputes, as well as in building a regulatory framework that favours commercial activity; Improved basic infrastructure: including also the transport, energy, and communications sectors; Education and training of our people; and Access to finance: with bank loans and investment capital for the private sector to grow.”
Journalist: Jose Belarmino de Sá
Editor: Filomeno Martins