MCIE and UNDP partnership to focus on improving business development environment

22 Aug 2014

imageMr. Knut Ostby, UN Resident Coordinator and UNDP Resident Representative and H.E. António da Conceição, Minister of Commerce, Industry and Environment sign the new cost-share agreement

National policies will support economic growth and human development

The Ministry of Commerce, Industry and Environment (MCIE) and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) today signed an agreement that will provide US$140,000 of Government funding to UNDP for support of the country’s efforts to build an enabling environment for business development.

Under the cost-sharing agreement, MCIE and UNDP will work together to identify policy issues that need to be addressed, or established, in order to support Timor-Leste’s efforts to achieve economic diversification and, ultimately prosperity. It will focus on two core areas: international development policy and quality assurance in food products.

“The need to develop a industrial policy that will be proactive, environmentally sound, consistent with globalization, and ensure consumer protection is an essential element for the country’s economic growth”, said H.E. António da Canceição, Minister of Commerce, Industry and Environment.

Improving the safety and quality of alimentary products available to the domestic market and the quality of the Timorese products aimed for export to compete in the global market is a general concern for the Timor-Leste government. While the government is working towards establishing the required infrastructure for testing all alimentary products, UNDP will provide policy advisory services to MCIE to establish a national system for alimentary quality assurance that will both protect local consumers and establish standards to meet global demand.

Working in cooperation with other development partners, UNDP will spearhead a consultative industrial development policy process that will support MCIE to effectively perform its leadership role in Timor-Leste industrial policy. The process will help coordinate policy inputs, formulate appropriate policies and sound choices among identified policy options, and suggest monitoring mechanisms for more effective implementation.

“This agreement signals the Government’s resolve to develop a beneficial enabling policy environment to support business achieve economic diversification and, ultimately, prosperity for the Timorese people,” said Knut Ostby, UN Resident Coordinator and UNDP Resident Representative. “The signing of this cost-sharing agreement today is also an indication of the commitment between the Government and UNDP to continue strengthening our collaboration in the development of this country.”

Since 2012, MCIE and UNDP have been collaborating on innovative ways to mobilize the private sector to contribute proactively to the acceleration of the Millennium Development Goals. Among their joint efforts is a focus on developing the country’s salt industry. MCIE has allocated US$156,000 to a UNDP-supported programme in Ulmera, Liquica. Funded by the Government of South Korea, the partnership aims to supply 30% of the country’s annual salt needs with locally produced salt. Currently, the vast majority of salt bought in the country is imported.