Fact Sheet Bilateral Relations

Fact Sheet







14,874 sq.km

Current Weather


Maximum temperature: 31 °C

Minimum temperature: 24 °C


1.3 million (2018)*

Languages (with %age of speakers, if available)

Tetum and Portuguese are official languages. Bahasa Indonesia and English are also spoken to some extent.

Religions (with %age, if available)

96.9% Roman Catholic; 2.2% Protestant/Evangelical; 0.3% Muslim, 0.6% others


Exchange rate with US$ & INR

US$ is the currency used.


Political Structure


Unitary semi-Presidential Republic.


The Head of State is the President, who is elected by popular vote for a five-year term. Although his executive powers are somewhat limited, the President does have veto power over government's legislation. Following elections, the President appoints the leader of the majority party or majority coalition as the Prime Minister. As Head of Government, the Prime Minister presides over the cabinet.


The unicameral National Parliament members are elected by popular vote to serve five-year terms in a modified proportional representation system. The number of seats can vary from 52 to 65.

Head of State (President)

H.E. Mr. Francisco Guterres Lu Olo

(since 20 May 2017)

Head of Government (Prime Minister)

H.E. Mr. Taur Matan Ruak

(since 22 June 2018)

Minister for Foreign Affairs and Cooperation

H.E. Mrs. Adaljiza Albertina Xavier Reis Magno Soares

(since 24 June 2020)




Since its independence in 1999, Timor-Leste has faced great challenges in rebuilding its infrastructure, strengthening the civil administration, and generating jobs for young people entering the work force. The development of oil and gas resources in offshore waters, especially through the Bayu Undan reserve in Timor Sea, has greatly supplemented government revenues. On the strength of its oil-wealth, the economy has achieved real growth between 5-8% per year for the last several years. In June 2005, the National Parliament unanimously approved the creation of a Petroleum Fund to serve as a repository for all petroleum revenues and to preserve the value of Timor-Leste's petroleum wealth for future generations. The Fund, which provides for 85 to 90% of General State Budget, currently held assets of US$ 16 billion. Timor-Leste has created the conditions for successful development and largely peaceful democratic elections since 2012 reflect these achievements. World Bank overview states that proportion of Timorese living in poverty declined from 50.4% in 2007 to an estimated 41.8% in 2014. At the internationally comparable extreme poverty line of $ 1.90 (in 2011 purchasing power parity dollars), poverty in Timor-Leste fell from 47.2% to 30.3% over the same period. However, the political stalemate for an year that led to election in May 2018 and subsequent impasse in passing of budget for 2018 led to sharp decline in public spending and economic activity in that year, contracting GDP to 0.7%. At the same time, GDP in 2019 is expected to grow by 3.9%, with inflation expected to remain below 4 percent in the medium-term. The nation however continues to face challenges, with economic growth largely reliant on government spending and revenues from natural resources. The key challenge facing Timor-Leste in the context of the depleting oil reserves is therefore diversification of economic activity from public to private, and from petroleum into other sectors, while maintaining a sustainable fiscal position and improving services. The underlying economic policy challenge the country faces remains how best to use oil-and-gas wealth to lift the non-oil economy onto a higher growth path and to reduce poverty. Undoubtedly, the Ratification of the Maritime Boundary Treaty by Timor Leste and Australia on 30 August, 2019, paving way for access to huge oil and gas deposits of Greater Sunrise Fields, would give a major boost to efforts in sustaining the Petroleum Fund Reserves but it would however be crucial to quickly move to realize investments in Greater Sunrise Project through collaboration with Foreign Oil Companies and also investing some of Oil Fund money to ensure the first production starts in 2025, generating much needed revenues to keep the Fund afloat.


$ 1.6 billion *

GDP per capita

$ 1,187 *

GDP Growth Rate

-0.5 % (2018 - WB)

Total Trade



$1185 million (2018)*

$1063 million (2018)*

$ 122 million (2018)*

*Source: World Bank

Bilateral Trade



US $ 6.33 million (Exports only) (2019-20)@

US $ 5.26 million (Exports only) (2018-19)@

$3.32 million (2017-18)@

$0.10 million (2017-18)@

@Source: Department of Commerce, India


Indian Origin/ Permanent Resident


Indian Expatriates (composition and any pertinent information that may be of interest)

About 30 Indians working as advisors in various Ministries, UN agencies and international donors. Some Indians are entrepreneurs and are engaged in trading and restaurant business. There are a few PIO in Timor Leste occupying high position including the Minister of Interior and Presidential Staff.

Indian Organizations







Government Organizations





The Indian community in Timor Leste has formed a friendship society called ‘Association of Indians in Timor Leste’ in February 2017.

*(Source : WB) As of November 2020

Fact Sheet

Embassy of India  
Gama Tower, 28th floor, Jl. HR. Rasuna Said Kav. C22,   
Karet Kuningan, Setiabudi, Kota Jakarta Selatan,  
Jakarta 12940.
Telephone : +62 21 2522299,
Fax : +62 21 2522405,
E-mail : info.jakarta@mea.gov.in
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