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publication December 15, 2019

October 2019 Timor-Leste Economic Report: Unleashing the Private Sector

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The Timor-Leste Economic Report provides an up-to-date assessment of key economic developments, presents the World Bank's forecasts and outlook for Timor-Leste and provides an in-depth examination of selected policy issues relevant to Timor-Leste

Key findings:

  • Despite the late approval of the 2019 budget, public expenditure in the first half of 2019 was 16 percent higher than in the same period in 2018
  • Private investment is also expected to benefit from greater political and economic stability. 
  • Gross domestic product (GDP) is expected to grow by 4.1 percent in 2019.
  • GDP growth is expected to accelerate to 4.9 percent by 2021, driven by larger public spending and household consumption. 
  • Medium-term growth prospects are hampered by a weak private sector. Developing productive capabilities will require continued political and macroeconomic stability, strong investments in high-return connective infrastructure and relevant skills, as well as policy and regulatory reforms that improve the business environment.

"Timor-Leste is making a welcome return to GDP growth, but key reforms are needed to unleash the potential of the private sector and meet the Government’s policy targets – which include an average economic growth rate above 7 percent and the creation of at least 60,000 new jobs per year."
Pedro Martins
Senior Country Economist for Timor-Leste