East Timor Basic Information

By | July 21, 2022

East Timor is one of the youngest states in the world, its independence was declared in 2002, the result of the country’s struggle for independence lasting several decades. In the past, East Timor declared independence from Portugal on 28 November 1975. Nine days later, it was invaded and occupied by Indonesian armed forces. In July 1976, East Timor was incorporated into Indonesia (as the province of East Timor). For the next 20 years, there was an unsuccessful Indonesian campaign to suppress domestic resistance. According to estimates, 100 to 250 thousand were killed during this campaign.

East Timor Basic Information

On August 30, 1999, in a UN-monitored referendum, the vast majority of the population (78%) voted for independence from Indonesia. Between the referendum and the arrival of multinational peacekeeping forces in the second half of September 1999, Timorese militias, organized and supported by the Indonesian army, waged a large-scale reprisal campaign in which approximately 1,300 people were killed and another approximately 300,000 were forced to flee to West Timor. Most of the country’s infrastructure was destroyed. On September 20, 1999, international peacekeeping forces led by Australia (INTERFET) entered the country and ended the violence. East Timor was then under the UN Transitional Administration (UNTAET) for less than 3 years. On 20/05/2002 East Timor was internationally recognized as an independent state. Check recipesinthebox for East Timor defense and foreign policy.

East Timor is among the poorest countries in the region and the LDC ( Least Developed Countries ) according to the UN classification. However, during its relatively short period of independence, the country has undergone successful economic development, which has earned it very promising predictions for the future. The current situation somewhat relativizes these estimates along with the structural problems of an economic and social nature accompanying the current phase of economic development. The country’s economy stands and falls with the extraction and export of oil and gas provided by Australian companies. This sector generates roughly 75% of GDP and accounts for 80% of total statistics in terms of income.

  • Official name of the state, composition of the government
  • Demographic trends: Population, average annual increase, demographic composition (including nationalities, religious groups)
  • Basic macroeconomic indicators for the last 5 years (nominal GDP/cap., development of GDP volume, inflation rate, unemployment rate). Expected development in the territory with an emphasis on the economic sphere.
  • Public finances, state budget – income, expenditure, balance for the last 5 years
  • Balance of payments (current, capital, financial account), foreign exchange reserves (last 5 years), public debt to GDP, foreign debt, debt service
  • Banking system (major banks and insurance companies)
  • Tax system

Official name of the state, composition of the government

OfficialState Name:

  • Democratic Republic of East Timor
  • Democratic Republic of Timor-Leste

Head of State:

The state is headed by President Francisco Guterres Lú Olo (elected in May 2017)

Composition of the government:

On May 12, 2018, elections to the country’s parliament took place, after which a coalition cabinet was formed, headed by Prime Minister Taur Matan Ruak. The current names of members of the government can be found on the website of the Government Office. Check equzhou to learn more about East Timor political system.

Demographic trends: Population, average annual increase, demographic composition (including nationalities, religious groups)

Area:

  • area: 14,874 km 2
  • land border 228 km
  • maritime border 706 km

Population :

  • population: 1,291 million (2017)
  • population density: 79 inhabitants/km²
  • average annual population growth: 2.2% (2016)

Most numerous ethnicity :

  • Austronésané (malajští Polynésané)
  • Papuan
  • a smaller group of Chinese

Religious composition :

  • Catholics (98%)
  • Muslims (1%)
  • Protestants (1%)

Message :

  • Capital: Dili
  • a total of 13 administrative units: Aileu, Ainaro, Baucau, Bobonaro, Cova-Lima, Dili, Ermera, Lautem, Liquica, Manatuto, Manufahi, Oecussi, Viqueque

Basic macroeconomic indicators for the last 5 years (nominal GDP/cap., development of GDP volume, inflation rate, unemployment rate). Expected development in the territory with an emphasis on the economic sphere.

2015 2016 2017 2018
GDP (at current prices, USD billion) 1,607 1,783 1,747 1,670
GDP growth (%) 4,3 5,4 -4,7 -0,5
Annual inflation (%, average, in consumer prices) 0,63 -1,2 0,6 2,3

Source: World Bank, IMF, ADB

Public finances, state budget – income, expenditure, balance for the last 5 years

(v USD) 2014 2015 2016 2017 2018
Revenues 166 126 000 170 67 944 171 16 392 N/A
Expenses 1 500 000 254 1 570 001 757 1 952 558 672 1 386 825 735 1 277 371 987

Source: Timor Leste Budget Transparency Portal
(Note: the revenue side of the budget does not include revenue from the sale of oil allocated to a special fund)
(Note: 2 For 2018, the government failed to pass the budget, leading to early elections in May 2018)

Balance of payments (current, capital, financial account), foreign exchange reserves (last 5 years), public debt to GDP, foreign debt, debt service

The country’s economy stands and falls with the extraction and export of oil and gas provided by Australian companies. This sector generates roughly 75% of GDP and accounts for 80% of total statistics in terms of income. Income from outside the state sphere is not accounted for and only accounts for about 10%. Funds from mining are historically allocated in a special fund intended for the development of the country. In practice, however, they are used to rehabilitate the state budget. While in the past savings from extraction and export still reached the amount of USD 16 billion, the current world prices further finance to the ” Petroleum Fund “) do not allow it to be brought in and, on the contrary, it gradually dissolves when financing the state coffers. In recent years, the government has been consuming approximately USD billion annually from the fund to rehabilitate the state budget. It was no different in 2018, when, in addition, a significant remaining part of the fund was used to purchase a strategic stake in a mining consortium that is to operate the future Greater Sunrise field in the offshore area under the country’s jurisdiction.

Banking system (major banks and insurance companies)

The US dollar was established as the official currency in 2000. In addition, Timorese coins denominated in smaller amounts of 1, 5, 10, 25 and 50 centavos were introduced for smaller transactions. The introduction of coins is intended to partially contribute to the gradual monetization of the economy.

There are currently 6 banks in East Timor:

  • Timor National Bank
  • Centra Bank Of East Timor
  • ANZ
  • Banco General
  • Mandiri Bank
  • Relationship Of Banks In East Timor

Tax system

In the country, there are formally: income tax, service tax, oil tax, import and sales tax and consumption tax (this covers only selected products – alcohol, cigarettes, petrol, passenger vehicles, ships and aircraft). However, the effective collection of taxes and the functioning of the tax system is very relative.