Timor-Leste Living Standards Improve: World Bank

April 19, 2017

World Bank East Asia Pacific Economic Update outlines resilient growth for region

Dili, April 19, 2016 – Growth in Timor-Leste and throughout East Asia and Pacific is expected to remain resilient over the next three years, according to the World Bank.

The World Bank’s East Asia Pacific Economic Update outlines that while Timor-Leste has made considerable gains in reducing poverty, at a faster pace than other countries, rates remain high. The report also highlights that while both oil production and sovereign wealth fund assets are declining, critical constraints to private sector development remain to be addressed.

The report offers a comprehensive analysis of the outlook for East Asia and Pacific, including Timor-Leste, where growth is forecast to fall to four percent in 2017 as a result of the elections, recover to 5 percent in 2018, and reach 6 percent by 2019. Regionally, the report expects Indonesia’s economy to grow for the first time in five years, rising to 5.0 percent in 2016, 5.2 percent in 2017, and 5.3 percent in 2018.

“The external environment for Timor-Leste remains positive, with the ASEAN region continuing to grow robustly, driven by domestic demand and a gradual recovery in the global economy and commodity prices,” said David Knight, World Bank Country Economist for Timor-Leste“However, the over-riding challenge for Timor-Leste is to transition to a more sustainable economy and rebalance towards private-sector led growth.”

Sound policies and a gradual pickup in global economic prospects have helped the region sustain growth and reduce poverty,” said Victoria Kwakwa, World Bank Vice President for East Asia and Pacific. “For this resilience to be sustained, countries will need to reduce fiscal vulnerabilities while improving the quality of public spending and fostering global and regional integration.”   

Since 2000, the World Bank has assisted the government of Timor-Leste to rebuild national infrastructure, stabilize the economy and strengthen government institutions. In 2017 this work includes support for improved service delivery in education and nutrition, the construction of climate-resilient roads and transport infrastructure, as well as support for the development of non-oil economic opportunities.

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