Dili - A Forum on Inclusive Growth organized in support of the Government’s efforts to create an economy in Timor-Leste which will strengthen the benefits to society as a whole was held in Dili on February 6 - 7, 2012. It is the first event of its kind to take place in the country and coincides with the United Nations International Year of Cooperatives. Under the slogan ”Mai Ita Hamutuk Haburas Hanoin Ba Merkadu”, the Forum will bring together ideas to further develop the Timorese market and in doing so increase employment and entrepreneurship in a largely agricultural economy.
Cooperatives, micro, small, medium enterprises, private sector, civil society actors, national policy makers, regional experts, practitioners and other development partners came together to exchange knowledge and experience. The Minister of Cooperatives and Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises of Indonesia and other experts from Indonesia, Brazil, Malaysia, Philippines and Japan also contributed their perspectives to the Forum.
It is expected that this two-day event will contribute to the economic development pillar of the Timor-Leste Strategic Development Plan (2011-2030), which calls for a modern and diverse economy.
H.E. Kay Rala Xanana Gusmão, Prime Minister, Democratic Republic of Timor-Leste attended the event and stated ‘the People are the greatest wealth of our Nation, which is why we must invest in them in order for Timor-Leste to move forward. This means that we must provide the People with conditions to evolve in terms of their practices and behaviors, their knowledge and their adaptation to the new technologies needed for their development’.
The event is a joint initiative from the Ministry of Economy and Development of the Government of Timor-Leste, UNDP and other development partners. In his welcome remarks to delegates H.E. João Mendes Gonçalves, Minister of Economy and Development, said ‘In its efforts to enhance investment in Timor-Leste the Government is supporting activities of the business sector, specifically facilitating access to credit and building institutions to encourage private enterprise. We welcome this opportunity to continue fostering growth and innovation’.
Forum discussions will focus on challenges and opportunities for inclusive growth and will examine how to create economic and employment opportunities for the poor, women, youth and the disabled. The forum also includes an exhibit of good practices of cooperatives and micro, small and medium enterprises and a business resource center for practical information and advice to help participants develop and sustain their business activities.
Mr. Finn Reske-Nielsen, Deputy SRSG and UNDP Resident Representative said that ‘Inclusive growth will not only promote equity in the development process but will also help Timor-Leste make further progress in the achievement of the Millennium Development Goals. I am encouraged by the many innovative and conscientious initiatives by Timorese enterprises and cooperatives.’
Sponsors: GIZ, JICA, IPAD, Global Transitions & Development, UNMIT, ADB, ILO, Embassy of the Philippines, ABC of the Federal Republic of Brazil, Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade of the Republic of Korea.