Two Chinese companies are building the first stretch of a highway that will connect Suai, a town in the far southwest of East Timor, to the rest of the country, Xinhua reports.
Chinese state-run news agency says the contractors are China Overseas Engineering Group Co. Ltd and China Railway First Group Co. Ltd.
The report says they are building the first 30km of 151km of highway that will run along the south coast of East Timor from Suai to Beaco.
Work began in January last year and is due to be completed in July this year.
At its peak the project employed over 1,300 Timorese, who received training in construction techniques, in operating construction equipment and in surveying, Xinhua says.