Timor-Leste Economy

Is Timor-Leste a rich country?

Since independence in 1999, Timor-Leste has faced great challenges in rebuilding its infrastructure, strengthening the civil administration, and generating jobs for young people entering the work force. The development of offshore oil and gas resources has greatly supplemented government revenues. This technology-intensive industry, however, has done little to create jobs in part because there are no production facilities in Timor-Leste. Gas is currently piped to Australia for processing, but Timor-Leste has expressed interest in developing a domestic processing capability.

In June 2005, the National Parliament unanimously approved the creation of the Timor-Leste Petroleum Fund to serve as a repository for all petroleum revenues and to preserve the value of Timor-Leste's petroleum wealth for future generations. The Fund held assets of $16 billion, as of mid-2016. Oil accounts for over 90% of government revenues, and the drop in the price of oil in 2014-16 has led to concerns about the long-term sustainability of government spending. Timor-Leste compensated for the decline in price by exporting more oil. The Ministry of Finance maintains that the Petroleum Fund is sufficient to sustain government operations for the foreseeable future.

Annual government budget expenditures increased markedly between 2009 and 2012 but dropped significantly through 2016. Historically, the government failed to spend as much as its budget allowed. The government has focused significant resources on basic infrastructure, including electricity and roads, but limited experience in procurement and infrastructure building has hampered these projects. The underlying economic policy challenge the country faces remains how best to use oil-and-gas wealth to lift the non-oil economy onto a higher growth path and to reduce poverty.

Timor-Leste Economy Data

What is the GDP of Timor-Leste?

GDP - Gross Domestic Product (PPP) $6,745,000,000 (USD)
GDP - official exchange rate $4,231,000,000 (USD)
GDP - official exchange rate note note: non-oil GDP
GDP - real growth rate 4.3%
GDP Per Capita $5,800.00 (USD)
GDP by Sector- agriculture 5.9%
GDP by Sector- Industry 77.4%
GDP by Sector- services 16.8%
GDP - composition, by end use household consumption: 25.8%

government consumption: 29.1%

investment in fixed capital: 16%

investment in inventories: 0%

exports of goods and services: 79.4%

imports of goods and services: -50.3%
Population Below Poverty Line 41%
Inflation Rate 12.3%
Labor Force 418,200
Labor Force By Occupation- agriculture 64%
Labor Force By Occupation- industry 10%
Labor Force By Occupation- services 26%
Unemployment Rate 18.4%
Fiscal Year 1 July - 30 June
Annual Budget $2,600,000,000 (USD)
Budget Surplus or Deficit - percent of GDP -1.6%
Taxes and other revenues - percent of GDP 26.1%
Major Industries printing, soap manufacturing, handicrafts, woven cloth
Industrial Growth Rate 8.5%
Agriculture Products coffee, rice, maize, cassava, sweet potatoes, soybeans, cabbage, mangoes, bananas, vanilla
Currency Code US dollar (USD)
Child Labor - % of children ages 5-14 4%
Child Labor - # of children ages 5-14 10,510
Commercial Bank Prime Lending Rate 12.3%

Labor Force by Occupation- As reported by Timor-Leste

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