Paulina Quintao – The government of Timor-Leste together with the Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC) Agency conducted an in-depth analysis of the main challenges for the country's economic development, to elaborate a future integrated plan to solve issues and to together develop Timor-Leste's economy.
The Ministry of Legislative Reform and Parliamentary Affairs, Fidelis Magalhaes said it is very important for the line ministries and the MCC agency to identify the problems impacting economic development in Timor-Leste.
He said some problems have been identified, including with public financial management, and in health which links to issues of malnutrition and poor infrastructure.
He added high malnutrition issues in Timor-Leste has a negative impact on the quality of human resources, especially on the citizen's growth and ability to make best use of opportunities, which in turn impacts on the overall economic development of the country.
"We will create a joint program with the government of the United States through the Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC) Agency to fund and invest in the upcoming five years and fix the problems we are facing," he said during his participation in the Root Causes Analysis and Consultation Workshop conducted at CNE, in Dili.
Meanwhile, National Member of Parliament MP Maria Fernanda Lay, said parliament also identified many issues impacting the economic development of Timor-Leste and as such, it is very important for the government and the MCC to conduct an in-depth research before investing in solutions.
"Our problem is not about money, because we have money. It is more about how funds are managed, which is still a challenge," she said.
She said Timor-Leste faces problems with managing public expenditure, and support from the MCC agency is needed to guarantee the country's economic development.
On the other hand, economist Dr. Joao Mariano Saldanha agreed that the big challenge for Timor-Leste is the management of public expenditure and with the transparency of procurement.
He said another problem is the poor business environment associated with people's access to the land, credit for business, and as such it is important for the MCC to support the government and the parliament to solve land issues in Timor-Leste. He urged a need for issuing land certificates to land owners.
"The right to land ownership is an obstacle to economic growth and development and to reduce poverty in our country," he said.
He hopes with the MCC's support to Timor-Leste with projects, some of these problems will be addressed so there is a boost to economic development that will contribute greatly to poverty reduction in Timor-Leste.