Timor-Leste, in spite of sustained international assistance, remains one of the poorest nations in the Asia-Pacific region. Only a small fraction of international funds have actually entered the local economy. Research conducted by PDT and sponsored by AusAID demonstrates that peace operations can accelerate economic recovery and significantly improve capacity building by increasing local spending. Local spending can be dramatically increased by facilitating international buyers to find local goods and service providers and by helping local businesses to bid on international tenders. It is PDT’s intention to assist in the process of redirecting international spending towards the local economy and thus boost employment both in Dili and the Districts. The Peace Dividend Marketplace (PDM) project is an innovative approach to increase the economic impact, and the resulting peace dividend, of the international presence in Timor-Leste. Developed in collaboration with UN officials in New York and across a range of peace operations this project intends to expand the local economic footprint of the UN and international agencies while simultaneously decreasing the operating costs of the missions. This will channel significant funds into the Timorese economy. The PDM project will have five main components:
1. Procurement Database: PDT will develop a comprehensive database of all businesses in Timor-Leste which will be made available to the UN and other international buyers to easily find Timorese goods and service providers.
2. Matchmaking: PDT will provide matchmaking services to directly link international agencies and staff to Timorese SMEs and micro-enterprises capable of replacing existing external vendors.
3. Tender Distribution Point: PDT will establish a central location for obtaining information on tenders by international agencies. Information will be distributed by email and SMS to local businesses.
4. Training and Outreach program: PDT will assist in building the capacity of local entrepreneurs to access, understand, and bid on international contracts.
5. Advocacy: PDT will develop an advocacy campaign to support local procurement initiatives. For example a nation wide “I Buy Timorese”, “Timor First”, or “Build Timor, Buy Local” campaign to support local procurement.
In addition to the direct fiscal impact, this project will build capacity in the emerging private sector; support the post-conflict economic recovery; facilitate the entry of subsequent foreign investment by improving business services; and contribute to improving the overall effectiveness of UN-mandated peace operations and the achievement of their strategic goals.
It is intended that PDT’s activities will be conducted in a manner designed to compliment existing initiatives. Furthermore, all activities will be conducted as appropriate in partnership with government and other relevant public sector agencies in addition to the Timorese and international private sector.
In order to achieve its objectives PDT will establish an office in Dili with two small satellite offices in the districts – location to be determined. Additionally it will test a micro-matchmaking programme in 3- 6 additional districts.
 Including but not limited to UNMIT, ISF, UN programmes, funds and agencies, bi-lateral agencies, the Worldbank, INGOs and multinational corporations.
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