Timorese PM maintains objective of creating 300,000 jobs in the legislature
The Timorese Prime Minister maintains the objective of creating 300 thousand jobs during the current legislature, which ends in 2023, and economic growth at 7% per year, according to the guidelines of the General State Budget (OGE) of 2020.
These two objectives are part of a new book with the “guidelines for preparing the 2020-2023 Budget proposal”, prepared by Taur Matan Ruak’s office this month and which serves as a guide for the preparation of this year’s public accounts.
Timor-Leste has been in twelfths since January 1st, registered an economic contraction in 2018 due to the political crisis in the country and a slight recovery last year, due, due to the covid-19 pandemic, to end 2020 with a further decline in national GDP.
The Government is now preparing a new OGE proposal for this year – the first was failed in January in parliament – which is due to be submitted to parliament, according to the prime minister, in September.
Despite the new economic context and political crisis that marked the executive’s first two years – which was only completed last week – the new guidelines document, to which Lusa had access, is practically identical to the one launched by the Prime Minister a year, keeping the promise of creating 300,000 jobs by 2023, or 60,000 a year.
Bearing in mind that this number was not fulfilled in the first two years of governance – and that due to the political crisis and the pandemic economists point out that there were even job losses -, fulfilling this promise would oblige to create almost all of the 300 thousand jobs until the 2023 elections.
Data on the employment sector in Timor-Leste are unreliable, although the most recent labor survey, dating from 2016, indicates that the workforce had 339 thousand people, of whom 304 thousand were considered to be employed .
Of these 304 thousand, about 71%, according to the same study, were in the informal economy and 58% of jobs were considered “vulnerable”.
In terms of the formal economy, the Social Security System currently has around 82 thousand workers registered, of which about 32 thousand are from the private sector.
In another context, the guideline document maintains the objective of an annual growth of the economy of 7%, a value that has not been achieved in any of the years of the legislature so far.
Since the beginning of this year, and according to the Central Bank of Timor-Leste (BCTL), the Timorese economy has retreated 6%.
In general terms, the document practically only changed the cover color compared to the June 2019 text – it changed from the colors of the Timorese flag to black – maintaining the same commitments to invest in improving water conditions, housing, education, training , culture, heritage, youth and sport.
With regard to the economy, according to the priority line for 2020, the Government wants to expand the country’s economic base, promoting a sustained increase in income, stimulating private initiatives and improving the national productive sector, namely agriculture, agriculture and fisheries.
In the primary sector, the Government wants to support not only production, but also “transportation, distribution, packaging and storage of agricultural products”, helping to strengthen the link between producers and the market.
The Government also wants to strengthen the capacity of the financial industry, “facilitating commercial activities”, while improving the “transparency, responsibility, efficiency and sustainability” of public accounts.
Among the economic priorities is the “improvement of national connectivity”, both in terms of the basic infrastructures (roads, ports and bridges, among others), as well as in the improvement of logistics and telecommunications networks, especially maritime and terrestrial optical fiber.
This article is available in: Português