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Timor-Leste Economic Diversification Analysis: Candlenut, Mobile Finance Market & Tourism Assessments

Megan O’Donnell
Amancio Bruno
Adam Sendall
Luis Gusmão
Robert Travers
Jinky Comon
Institutional Sponsor: 
United States Agency for International Development (USAID)
Publication date: 
Saturday, August 15, 2015

Less than two decades after achieving its independence, Timor-Leste is grappling to secure its place in the regional and global economy, while stabilizing the livelihoods of its populace. The recent petroleum discovery brings new wealth and opportunity but also demands caution in managing the resources for long term sustainability. To address this, the government has undertaken broad efforts including building its admistrative and regulatory capacity, creating social support programs, deploying widespread infrastructure upgrades and diversifying its economy.

This assessment informs USAID/Timor-Leste on the opportunities presented by candlenut exports, tourism and mobile banking to support economic growth and diversification in the country. While the candlenut and tourism sections examine both the domestic factors and international expansion, mobile banking was examined as an economy-wide financial service, as well as a conduit for financial inclusion for under-served populations.