East Timor recognised for reforms to drive business growth

The “Doing Business 2015” report recognised East Timor as the economy that most improved in facilitating business start-ups. The report, by the World Bank Group, compares business regulations for domestic firms in 189 economies.

East Timor was ranked 96th in ‘starting a business’ in the report released in late October, up from 169th in the previous year. Overall, the country climbed two positions to 172nd.

“Timor-Leste, the economy that improved the ease of starting a business the most, did so by creating a one-stop shop. Now entrepreneurs can complete several formalities in one place –reserving a company name, submitting company documents, applying for registration and publishing company statutes,” said the latest report.

“By streamlining start-up formalities and centralising services, the new one-stop shop reduced the time required to start a business from 94 days to just 10,” it added.

The government launched the one stop shop, called SERVE (Services for Registration and Verification of Entrepreneurs), in June 2013.

The country however scored low in “Registering Property”, “Enforcing Contracts” and “Resolving Insolvency”. The East Timor government said the assessments were “understandable”, due to the very complex issues around property ownership and a relatively young and evolving legal framework.

“The government is in the process of developing the regulatory basis which will enable significant improvements in these areas in the years to come,” the government said in a statement published on the website of the Secretariat of State for Support and Promotion of the Private Sector.