DILI, 19 October, 2010—The World Bank today hosted a National Validation Workshop to present the recommendations from a study entitled Expanding Timor-Leste’s Near-Term Non-Oil Exports. The Workshop was attended by H.E. the Minister of Economy and Development, H.E. the Minister of Tourism, Commerce and Industry, H.E. the Secretary of State for Agriculture, government officials, development partners, and representatives from the private sector and civil society. The Workshop also discussed next steps to implement the recommendations.
The study looks at how Timor-Leste could expand agricultural exports and focuses on policies that will yield short-term results, but also those that will have an impact in the medium term. It proposes a number of priority actions related to skills in the agriculture sector, productive use of land, the business environment and trade infrastructure, which could boost exports of coffee, livestock and grain and pulses.
“The recommendations from the study have benefited from inputs from a wide range of stakeholders. The next step is implementation, which will require strong coordination across the government and with non-government stakeholders,” says Habib Rab, World Bank Country Economist.
“With 80 percent of the Timorese population dependent on agriculture, improving agricultural production and exports could have an important impact on poverty reduction in the short-term,” says Tercan Baysan, Lead Consultant on the study.
The study was undertaken as part of the Integrated Framework (IF) process, which supports IF member countries with trade capacity building. A representative of the IF Executive Secretariat based in Geneva attended the National Validation Workshop, which concludes the first phase of the IF process. The next phase is implementation, which will be led by a National Implementation Unit hosted jointly by the Ministry of Economy and Development and the Ministry of Tourism Commerce and Industry.