DILI, 23 november 2023 (TATOLI) – Timor-Leste has one of the youngest populations in the Asia and Pacific region, with a median age of 17.4 years. With the majority of the population under 35, or 74%, Prime Minister Gusmão said that the adaptability and innovation of the country’s young workforce are key factors for driving success.
“We live in a changing world where adaptability, innovation, and a youthful workforce are key factors driving success,” Gusmão made the comments during the Timor-Leste International Business Forum 2023, with the theme: “Discovering Blue and Green Opportunities for Sustainable Investment,” held in Dili, today.
Gusmão said: “In my time, it was said: ‘You can’t teach an old dog new tricks’. But in Timor-Leste, one of our main riches is the strength and youthfulness of our Nation, and inherently, our adaptability. We have young people capable of “learning new tricks”, which include languages, skills, and technologies. Young people who are eager to embrace development opportunities to transform themselves and the country.”
Prime Minister said that the pace of change is accelerating: “We are witnessing social and technological changes that occur in months, or even weeks. Businesses must adapt to these changes, and they have to create modern and innovative business models, with the young being the most capable of driving this change.”
“Therefore, we must have more faith in the power of our youth! We need to create opportunities for young people, especially in our national productive sectors. The time has come for our young people looking for challenges and opportunities to launch startups in Timor-Leste, as is happening around the world,” Gusmão stressed.
He said that if Timor-Leste’s young people take the initiative, the Government will help them to start and grow businesses, as will be set out in the National Industry Policy soon to be launched by the Government.
“In addition to the youthfulness of our Nation, another strong point that sets us apart is our geographical location. Situated in Southeast Asia, but very close to Australia and the Pacific, Timor-Leste can participate in the vibrant economic dynamics of our region,” Prime Minister added.
Besides, he said that Timor-Leste also have deep ties that unite the country with countries from various points of the globe, with Timorese youth adapting culturally, and even linguistically, to various worlds: “This represents not only an advantage, but also an opportunity to embrace the innovative potential of developed and emerging economies around the world. We may not excel in innovation now, but we can, if our young people have the drive and support of the Government.”
Timor-Leste has one of the youngest populations in the Asia and Pacific region, with a median age of 17.4 years. This makes Timor-Leste the 15th youngest in the world, behind only Afghanistan and a group of African nations. The population below age 35 accounts for 74 percent of the total population, according to UNDP.
Journalist: Jose Belarmino de Sá
Editor: Filomeno Martins