Related Articles
Forward article link
Share PDF with colleagues

Timor-Leste facing problems with spending

Timor-Leste (East Timor) was once seen as the poster child for developing nations. It had natural resources, a comprehensive legal framework covering their extraction and an oil fund. Now, almost 11 years after attaining independence, the country better resembles a problem child

Unlike other developing countries, Timor-Leste’s challenge is not earning revenue, but understanding how to spend it. Despite having more than $12 billion stashed away in a petroleum fund, as well as annual oil income which peaked in 2012 at $3.6bn, the tiny southeast Asian nation could be bankrupt by 2022. In 2005, its leaders were hailed by the international community when, in a bid to stave off the resource curse, they established an offshore sovereign wealth fund. But symptoms of the curse have started to show. State spending has surged, and based on present rates of increase – the actual budget for 2012 was 28% higher than 2011 – is unsustainable. Without adjusting for inflation, spendi

Also in this section
Nigerian output recovery still distant
24 February 2017
As export routes remain blocked, local producers get creative
China's new fuel standard
21 February 2017
Under pressure, Sinopec launches cleaner Beijing Six gasoline
Taxing times in the US
20 February 2017
A proposed US border levy would lift producers, hit consumers and upend oil markets