Timor-Leste is one of the most petroleum-export dependent countries in the world. However, oil and gas revenues will end soon, and the Petroleum Fund may only carry the country for another decade. Time is running out for decisions critical to the nation’s future.
Charles Scheiner presents the 2021 economic survey of Timor-Leste, outlining the current economic situation, particularly in relation to the state budget, and the dominance of the Petroleum Fund in state finances. He also looks at future oil and gas possibilities, including Greater Sunrise and the Tasi Mane petroleum infrastructure project, and argues regardless of the paths Timor-Leste chooses to follow, investing in its people – through education, health and nutrition – is essential.
The presentation is a draft of a forthcoming paper in the Pacific Survey series, published in the Asia & the Pacific Policy Studies journal.
Charles Scheiner is a researcher at La’o Hamutuk, the Timor-Leste Institute for Development Monitoring and Analysis, an independent, non-partisan, Timorese civil society research organisation. He specialises in the effects of oil and gas extraction, including on economics, governance, environment and revenue management.
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Professor Stephen Howes, Director, Development Policy Centre, The Australian National University
Photo credit: Charles Scheiner