East Timor trying to diversify its economy: Prime Minister

The Prime Minister of East Timor, Rui Maria de Araújo, said the country is implementing the necessary reforms to diversify its economy, in a bid to reduce its dependency on trade partners, and on exports of oil and gas. Mr Araújo made a speech on Wednesday at the European Development Days forum, taking place in Brussels.

There is “an ambitious plan for the development of East Timor, in line with the objectives of the United Nations sustainable development goals,” said the Prime Minister, quoted by Portuguese news agency Lusa.

Mr Araújo additionally said that East Timor began in 2015 “a round of reforms, namely in the areas of finance, economy, public administration and legislation,” seeking to “diversify the economy to attract more domestic and overseas investment”.

The Government of East Timor announced earlier this month that it plans to simplify the administrative steps regarding the processing of imports and exports. The country’s authorities hope to reduce the overall time needed to complete the procedures, from a current average of nine days, to between 12 hours and 36 hours by 2020.