East Timor Trade and Foreign Investment

By | July 23, 2022
  • Trade balance for the last 5 years – exports, imports, balance
  • Territorial structure – position in (k) EU
  • Commodity structure
  • Free trade zones (VT parks, investment zones)
  • Investments – foreign direct investments in the territory (sectoral and territorial structure)
  • Investments – conditions for entry of foreign capital (restrictions, incentives for investors)

Trade balance for the last 5 years – exports, imports, balance

A country’s foreign trade is specific and unbalanced, and the main variable when looking at statistics is whether oil exports are included. In the positive case, the foreign balance shows significant surpluses, which materialize as revenues of the Petroleum Fund. In the opposite case, the opposite is the case, as the country imports practically all goods and products. Since there is no oil refinery in the country, gasoline and diesel must be imported. The only export commodities are coffee and vanilla.

  • Allcountrylist: Overview of major industries in East Timor, including mining, construction, transportation, tourism, and foreign trade.
2014 2015 2016 2017 2018
Importation 553,660 491,273 511 703 588,217 565,246
Total exports 39,065 38,440 161,800 24,857 46,302
Export coffee 13,773 10,731 29,963 14,660 18,768
Re-export 25,197 27,366 136,526 7,914 23 209

Source: http://www.statistics.gov.tl/

data in thousand USD

Territorial structure – position in (k) EU

The largest importers in 2018 in thousand USD
1 Indonesia 159,380
2 Hong Kong 78,643
3 Singapore 76,241
4 China 65 157
5 Vietnam 25,379
Exports in 2018 in thousand USD
1 USA 6,399
2 Canada 3,880
3 Indonesia 3 152
4 Germany 2 198
5 China 2 187

Source: http://www.statistics.gov.tl

Commodity structure

Main export commodities:

  • The absolutely dominant share in the export statistics is represented by the outputs of gas and oil extraction. In practice, international consortia manage mining and transport on their own, and from East Timor’s point of view, this export sector is basically just the sum of financial transfers to state accounts.
  • Coffee (represents 85% of all non-oil exports), vanilla, sandalwood and marble.

Main import commodities:

  • Groceries, petrol and kerosene, all consumer goods.

East Timor: The country’s relations with the EU

Representation of the EU in the country

Delegation of the EU in Timor-Leste
Palm Business and Trade Centre, Block D, 4th Floor
Rua de Fatumeta, Surik Mas
Dili, Timor-Leste
Tel.: + 670 331 15 80
Fax: + 670 331 15 81/82
Email: delegation-timor -leste@eeas.europa.eu, delegation-timor-leste-human-rights@eeas.europa.eu
Website: https://eeas.europa.eu/delegations/timor-leste/

Head of the Delegation: Alexandre Leitão
Opening Hours:
Mon-Thu 09:00–12:00 & 14:00–16:00
Friday 09:00–12:00

The country’s trade relations with the EU

Thanks to its colonial past, Portugal maintains a specific position (and not only) in the field of trade relations. From the point of view of exports, Germany, which imports coffee, has a relatively high profile as a destination country.

Otherwise, the country’s cooperation with the EU mainly focuses on EU assistance in developing East Timor’s economic institutions and its involvement in international economic ties.

Overall ranking of countries Exports from EU countries in 2018 in thousand USD
13 Portugal 5,775
16 France 3 164
17 Netherlands 3,034
19 Austria 1 809
22 Belgium 1,020

Provision of development funds and EU instruments

EU development aid

East Timor is a target of EU development aid. Currently, these are programs within 11 EDF (European Development Fund) for the years 2014-2020. 95 million euros are allocated for the country within its framework.

East Timor: Contacts

The Czech Republic does not have any official representation directly in East Timor and it is under the jurisdiction of the Jakarta Office.

Contacts at the embassies of the Czech Republic in the territory

The Embassy of the Czech Republic (Kedutaan Besar Republik Ceko)
Jalan Gereja Theresia 20, Menteng Jakarta 10350
Tel.: +62-21-239 61 12-3
Fax: +62-21-390 40 78
Consular emergency: Tel.: + 62-811 1941 251

East Timor Trade