General information

East Timor flag

Official designation
Democratic Republic of Timor-Leste
Head of State
Head of Government
Francisco Guterres Lú Olo
Taur Matan Ruak
Unitary semi-presidential republic
15,410 km2
1 167 242 inhabitants (2015 census)
79.6 / Km2 (2015 census)
Dominant Religion
Official Language
Roman Catholicism
Portuguese and Tetum 
United States Dollar
GDP nominal
$ 1.41 billion in 2014 (World Bank)
GDP per capita
$ 1.169 in 2015 (World Bank)


Market sheet

Although it is a small universe in terms of consumers, both by population size and purchasing power, Timor-Leste can represent an attractive market and investment destination for a variety of reasons.

In the first place, the Government has launched, through public tenders, a vast public works program, which is intended to cover the lack of or insufficient infrastructures (for example, water supply and sanitation does not exist or does not cover all The area of ​​localities, the degraded state of land communication, as well as the small size of the main airport and port facilities).

In the second place, legislation has been recently approved to operationalize the Special Market Economic Economy Zone in Oecussi, for which the Timorese authorities seek to attract foreign companies in an effort to diversify the economy, hitherto almost exclusively dependent on oil revenues.


Practical guide to market access

Portugal and Timor-Leste entered into an Agreement on the Promotion and Reciprocal Protection of Investments, signed in Dili on 20 May 2002 and in force since 7 April 2004, and a Convention to Avoid Double Taxation and Prevent Tax Evasion On Taxes on Income, signed in Lisbon on September 27, 2011, which has not yet entered into force. Essential legislation for investment is already almost fully published. This is Law 4/2004, dated April 21, on commercial companies, of Decree-Law no. 18/2010, of December 1th, on the special regime for the immediate constitution of companies, and of Law No 14/2011, of September 28, on private investment.
The issue of land ownership ("Land Law"), whose new legislation will put an end to the prevailing applicability of pre-1974 Indonesian and post-2002 legislation at the same time, remains open for debate and resolution. In April 2014, the Business Registration and Verification Service (SERVE) was launched, which allows the registration of a company in a single day.  

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