International Business Forum promotes investment opportunities

Fri. 24 of November of 2023, 12:36h

The Ministry of Trade and Industry and the Timor-Leste Chamber of Commerce and Industry (CCI-TL) are organising the International Business Forum from November 23rd to 25th, 2023, with the theme “Discovering Blue and Green Opportunities for Sustainable Investment”. The event is being held at the GMN Multifunction Pavilion in Dili and aims to promote economic development and establish partnerships. 404950358_200349936454676_2114072208030668966_n

This event brings together hundreds of businesspeople from Australia, Brazil, Brunei Darussalam, Cambodia, China, South Korea, the Philippines, India, Indonesia, Japan, Laos, Macau, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Netherlands, Qatar, Thailand, Taiwan and Vietnam, as well as local businesspeople, members of the Government and National Parliament and representatives of governmental and non-governmental organisations, development partners and the diplomatic corps.

During the three-day forum, discussions will focus on the critical sectors of agriculture, tourism, oil and gas, and mining. 404625010_202544156227548_5934666913964744656_n

At the opening of the event, the Vice Prime Minister, Coordinating Minister for Economic Affairs and Minister of Tourism and Environment, Francisco Kalbuadi Lay, expressed the Government's pride in “co-organising the International Business Forum in partnership with the Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Timor-Leste”, an event that he said served “as a crucial driver for economic development and the establishment of robust partnership networks”. 405502047_192636573901328_5476957032521443733_n

Francisco Kalbuadi Lay recognised “the crucial role of international collaboration, particularly the importance of foreign direct investment in the country” in achieving the Government's vision of “sustainable economic development”. In this regard, “the experiences shared and the relationships created during this forum will undoubtedly contribute to the growth of our economy, creating a ripple effect that extends beyond our borders.”

The Vice Prime Minister stated that “applications to the WTO, ASEAN and future trade integrations mark a commitment to international cooperation and the pursuit of shared economic prosperity” and “will provide unprecedented opportunities to interact with the global community and attract foreign investment”.

In his speech, the Prime Minister, Kay Rala Xanana Gusmão, said that “this Business Forum promotes the debate of ideas and solutions which is, as you know, the first step towards creating any business and entrepreneurial opportunity”, “not only for Timor-Leste but for our entire region, considering that Timor-Leste is creating the conditions to be a more active and dynamic economic partner, particularly in the context of joining ASEAN and the World Trade Organisation (WTO)”. 405485788_192636500568002_1912420426205599665_n

The Head of Government emphasised that “in Timor-Leste, one of our main assets is the strength and youth of our nation and, inherently, our ability to adapt. We have young people who can 'learn new languages', skills, competencies and technologies. Young people who are eager to embrace development opportunities to transform themselves and to transform the country.”

Xanana Gusmão said it is necessary to “believe more in the power of our youth” and “create opportunities for young people” who are looking for “challenges and opportunities”. He also emphasised that “young people must take the initiative” and that “the Government will support local companies to start up and grow, as is also provided for in the National Industry Policy that the Government is currently preparing”.

“Another strong point that sets us apart is our geographical location”. “Situated in Southeast Asia but very close to Australia and the Pacific, Timor-Leste can take advantage of the vibrant economic dynamics of our region,” said the Prime Minister.

“On the other hand, we also have deep ties with countries around the world, with young Timorese adapting culturally and even linguistically to different worlds,” he said.

The Prime Minister guaranteed that “the Government is a strategic partner for companies, both national and international”, but he also emphasised that Timorese entrepreneurs “should not look exclusively to the Government for the support they need, or the funding for their ambitions, or the solution to their difficulties. He, therefore, encouraged Timorese entrepreneurs to leave “their comfort zone and try to build themselves up, as if it were a question of survival”, stressing that “cooperation must be encouraging for all Timorese entrepreneurs, to be able to capitalise on internal cooperation and strategic partnerships with international entrepreneurs, transferring knowledge, technology and foreign capital to the country”.

Xanana Gusmão said that the Government is working to “diversify the economy through the development of productive sectors (agriculture, forestry, livestock, fishing, tourism, oil and minerals and manufacturing)” and “promote private sector investment, which also leads to the substitution of import products that can be produced locally”.

The Government is “working with the Central Bank of Timor-Leste to promote the development of the financial sector by creating a favourable environment, facilitating commercial activities in the sector”. It will “create the Development Bank of Timor-Leste” “to facilitate access to long-term financing at affordable interest rates”. Intending to create “the necessary conditions to develop the national private sector”, the Government is working on “political and economic stability”, “reforming the legal framework”, “basic infrastructure”, “education and training of human resources”, and “access to finance”.

Xanana Gusmão also emphasised that “Timor-Leste's priority is to invest in areas that preserve and promote the country's natural environment” “and if we all do our part: Government, Business and Civil Society, pooling our potential and our courage, we can create a competitive and innovative environment for the country, one that creates income and jobs and respects nature”.

At the end of his speech, the Prime Minister asked the participants in the International Business Forum to “think about the power of adaptation, innovation and cooperation to invest in businesses that bring income and make the nation proud” and to remember that “the future is in our hands, and we can transform it with energy, innovation and cooperation”.