IFC in Timor-Leste

IFC is helping accelerate private sector development in Timor-Leste to create a more inclusive and sustainable economy. Since 2006, IFC has helped to mobilize more than $150 million in private investment and has invested $4.5 million of its own funds. As of April 2022, IFC’s advisory services portfolio comprised $16.3 million in funds under management.

IFC was the transaction adviser for the Tibar Bay Port, Timor-Leste’s first public-private partnership (PPP). This ambitious project to develop a new deep-water port to the West of Dili is due to open in 2022. The project will help support economic activity and improve Timor-Leste’s competitiveness by boosting connectivity to international markets. IFC also serves as transaction adviser for several other major PPPs, including expansion of the President Nicolau Lobato International Airport, upgrading of the national medical diagnostics system and an affordable housing project in Dili.

IFC has played a key role in the growth and formalization of microfinance in Timor-Leste, investing $4.5 million of its own funds in Kaebauk Investimentu no Financas (KIF), helping KIF become the nation’s first fully licensed micro-lender. IFC’s work with KIF has increased people’s access to credit, including in rural areas, supporting small businesses and helping to drive economic activity. IFC’s advisory services have also helped the government cut red tape and significantly reduce the time it takes to register a business.

IFC remains focused on helping Timor-Leste recover from the economic shock and social impacts caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, and build toward a green, resilient and inclusive recovery. We are especially focused on improving overall competitiveness and promoting gender equity. Our current priorities in Timor-Leste include creating jobs through investment in sectors such as tourism and agriculture, ensuring effective use of natural resources, including renewable energy, improving access to basic services such as health and housing, and expanding access to finance.