16 November 2017
The Timor-Leste International Investment Conference is an integral event for Timor-Leste to showcase its investment potential across a range of industries. These include petroleum/gas, mineral exploration, quarrying, civil construction, coffee and agriculture, tourism, transport and logistics and many more.
Investors from a variety of industries gathered to hear about the country’s potential, gaining a firsthand appreciation of the opportunities available by hearing from companies already operating in Timor-Leste. Among these was Advisian’s Dan Hunter – Timor-Leste Country Director – who discussed navigating the environmental licensing process in Timor-Leste as the country diversifies into new industries, while building a robust legal and regulatory framework to support and protect the country’s best interests.
"A great deal of progress has been made towards creating an enabling environment to attract investment, and I congratulate the new Government in renewing its commitment to environmentally sustainable development – though there is still work to be done. Competitive and equitable private sector development requires firm, yet fair, regulation, which supports sustainable development objectives while meeting international standards. Timor-Leste is quite rightly seeking to establish best practice as the norm. To facilitate investment, regulation needs to be clear and simple, and implementation should be effective and efficient. The country now has an opportunity to design a regulatory framework that meets these objectives and the private sector can play a role in that process.
"Timor-Leste has a very ambitious development plan. We will see a dramatic change in the landscape over the coming years, with new infrastructure supporting a growing petroleum, agriculture, tourism industry and an emerging mining industry. It is critical to ensure the country is guided by sustainable development principles when planning, designing, constructing and operating this new infrastructure," said Dan.
Advisian has been involved in delivering several Category A Environmental Impact Statements and various technical studies associated with both private and Government projects in Timor-Leste. This includes several high-profile projects such as TIMOR GAP’s proposed flagship ‘Tasi Mane’ South Coast Petroleum Corridor Project. We have also delivered the Dili Airport Project’s Environmental Impact Statement (EIS), the EIS for TL Cement LDA’s proposed $US400 million Baucau cement clinker plant project - the first comprehensive EIS completed in Timor-Leste. We have also completed the FEED and EIS for the Government’s proposed US$280M new port facility in Tibar, approximately 12km from Dili.
The main lesson we have learnt is collaboration and regular communication with the relevant government departments and their ministries is key. If they are involved early in the scoping phase of projects, it helps to ensure that everyone is aligned with the objectives and proposed outcomes of the EIS.
Dan said "given our local on-ground experience and presence, we are readily available to assist companies who are investigating business opportunities in Timor-Leste. We have found the people in Timor-Leste are remarkably resilient, driven and tenacious. They understand that to grow as a nation, they must embrace infrastructure development, but they are very aware and passionate about protecting their culture and natural environment."