Timor-Leste and ADB

ADB’s support to Timor-Leste is focused on building climate-resilient infrastructure and basic services, and strengthening the enabling environment for economic diversification.

Economic forecasts for Timor-Leste

Figures are based on the latest edition of ADB's Asian Development Outlook, which analyzes economic and development issues in Asia and the Pacific. This includes forecasting the inflation and gross domestic product growth rates of economies throughout the region.


Comparative economic forecasts

The latest available economic data for Timor-Leste compared to countries in Southeast Asia.


Policy Challenge—Ensuring Food Security

Food insecurity remains high for about 63% of the population. Ensuring adequate food supply remains a priority. The risk of a food supply shock persists due to high dependency on food imports, climate risks, and disasters caused by natural hazards. An estimated 27% of the population face high acute levels of food insecurity. About 47% of children under 5 years old are stunted, 9% of children suffer from acute malnutrition, and 23% of women of reproductive age are anemic. The maternal and child prevalence of undernourishment is high at 40%.

Ensuring food security is a fundamental and immediate policy challenge in Timor-Leste. Past government measures to improve food security included subsidies to rice importers to stabilize domestic prices, a School Meals initiative, and improving livestock disease control. Using a more holistic approach, Timor-Leste has great potential to improve its food security.

First a multi-sectoral approach should be implemented. The recent establishment of the nutrition and food security working group as part of the inter-ministerial task force led by the Vice Prime Minister for Social Affairs is a welcoming step to monitor the implementation progress of multi-sectoral nutrition and food security action plans and achieve key policy targets.

Second a more conducive environment for domestic food production and agricultural productivity should be supported. More than 70% of the population depends on rain-fed subsistence agriculture as their main source of income. Promoting climate-resilient agriculture and diversifying agriculture products will boost agriculture production and increase farmers’ income. This also requires risk mitigation and prevention, which include (i) reducing climate and disaster risk caused by natural hazards and El Niño by strengthening climate resilience; (ii) improving access to water, hygiene, sanitation, and waste management for disease control; and (iii) developing essential infrastructure for food and agriculture production, providing producer-and-consumer connectivity through properly maintained roads, market access, and value chains.

Third access to finance should be increased for food producers and other key stakeholders including related micro small and medium-sized enterprises. This includes investments and financing for food production, warehousing, and trade and supply chain financing. It can be provided by local banks, development finance, on-lending, and public-private partnerships to help integrate farmers into food supply chains and markets, increase agricultural productivity, and promote rural employment.

More resources

Asian Development Bank and Timor-Leste: Fact Sheet

Asian Development Bank and Timor-Leste: Fact Sheet

The Fact Sheets summarize ADB's partnerships with member economies, providing key facts and figures and an overview of activities and future directions.

Asian Development Outlook (ADO) April 2024

Asian Development Outlook

The Asian Development Outlook analyzes economic and development issues in developing countries in Asia.

Key Indicators for Asia and the Pacific 2023

Key Indicators

The Key Indicators for Asia and the Pacific publication presents data regarding the economic, financial, social, and environmental situations in a broad range of countries across the region.

Basic Statistics 2023

Basic Statistics

The Basic Statistics brochure presents data on selected social, economic, and SDG indicators such as population, poverty, annual growth rate of gross domestic product, inflation, and government finance for economies in Asia and the Pacific.