Forum to champion economic development for all

Feb 6, 2012

Dili – A forum on inclusive growth organized in support of the Government’s efforts to create an economy in Timor-Leste which will strengthen the benefits to society as a whole starts today.

It is the first event of its kind to take place in the country and coincides with the United Nations International Year of Cooperatives.

The forum will bring together ideas to further develop the Timorese market and in doing so increase employment and entrepreneurship in a largely agricultural economy.

Cooperatives, micro, small, medium enterprises, private sector, civil society actors, national policy makers, regional experts, practitioners and other development partners will come together to exchange knowledge and experience.

The Minister of Cooperatives and Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises of Indonesia and other experts from Indonesia, Brazil, Malaysia, Philippines and Japan have also come to contribute their perspectives to the Forum.

The two-day event will contribute to the economic development pillar of the Timor-Leste Strategic Development Plan (2011-2030), which calls for a modern and diverse economy.

Speaking at the event, Prime Minister Kay Rala Xanana Gusmão said: “The people are the greatest wealth of our nation, which is why we must invest in them in order for Timor-Leste to move forward.

“This means that we must provide the people with conditions to evolve in terms of their practices and behaviors, their knowledge and their adaptation to the new technologies needed for their development,” he said.

The forum is a joint initiative of Timor-Leste’s Ministry of Economy and Development, UNDP and other development partners.

In his welcome remarks to delegates, Economy and Development Minister, João Mendes Gonçalves said: “In its efforts to enhance investment in Timor-Leste, the Government is supporting business sector activities, specifically facilitating access to credit and building institutions to encourage private enterprise. We welcome this opportunity to continue fostering growth and innovation.”

Forum discussions will focus on challenges and opportunities for inclusive growth and will examine how to create economic and employment opportunities for the poor, women, youth and the disabled.

The forum also includes an exhibit of good practices of cooperatives and micro, small and medium enterprises and a business resource center for practical information and advice to help participants develop and sustain their business activities.

Finn Reske-Nielsen, Deputy SRSG and UNDP Resident Representative said: “Inclusive growth will not only promote equity in the development process but will also help Timor-Leste make further progress in the achievement of the Millennium Development Goal.”

Forum sponsors include UNDP, GIZ, JICA, IPAD, Global Transitions and Development, UNMIT, ADB, ILO, Embassy of the Philippines, ABC of the Federal Republic of Brazil, Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade of the Republic of Korea.

Contact Information

Sandra Magno
Media & Communication Analyst
UNDP Timor-Leste
Telephone: +670 7732 7211   
Contact UNDP in Timor-Leste

Media inquiries:
Jeanne Finestone, Results Management, Communications and Partnerships Officer
Phone: (+670) 7732 7211   


General inquiries