Timor-Leste: Overview & Impact


Country Context

Population: 1.2 million (UN, 2010)

Languages: Tetum, Portuguese

Monetary unit: Dollar

Main Exports: Coffee, oil

GNI per capita: US $2,460 (World, Bank, 2009)

ODA received:$217 million (OECD, 2009)

Human Development Index ranking: 147 out of 189 (UN, 2010)

Estimated GDP growth: 7.4% (UN, 2009)

Products & Services

  • Local Business Directory
  • Training
  • Matchmaking
  • Tender Distribution
  • Market Research
  • Advocacy

The Sustainable Marketplace Initiative operated in Timor-Leste between 2007 and 2011. During this period, the project had a significant impact on local market development. 

  • Helped facilitate over 13,000 local transactions and redirected more than $20 million into the Timorese economy.  
  • Through verification surveys and registration on the Building Markets Local Business Directory, the project team brought visibility to more than 3,000 Timorese businesses, including 952 that were female-owned.
  • Tender Distribution Services collected and disseminated more than 723 tenders to local businesses, creating transparency in contracting and increasing access to new business opportunities.
  • The Building Markets operation in Timor-Leste included micro-matchmaking, a unique innovation in Timor-Leste. This service worked in nine districts to facilitate thousands of smaller transactions in the poorest and most isolated parts of the country. In addition to having a significant impact on rural livelihoods, this helped re-establish business relationships with Indonesia, Timor-Leste’s largest trading partner. 
  • Through communication and advocacy efforts the team helped raise the profile of local procurement and received the full backing of the Government of Timor-Leste.


*Source: Building Markets, June 2014

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