The ‘Resource Curse’ in Timor-Leste

SSGM In Brief

Author/s (editor/s):

Charles Scheiner

Publication year:


Publication type:

In Brief

Timor-Leste is one of the world’s most petroleumexport- dependent countries. Although petroleum revenues and savings benefit many citizens, they also distort economics, public finances, politics and personal behaviour. The phrase ‘resource curse’ is often used to describe how people in nearly every nation which depends on exporting non-renewable resources become worse off than people not ‘blessed’ with mineral and oil wealth. This In Brief describes how the ‘resource curse’ will lead to devastating consequences in Timor- Leste unless the state moves quickly to diversify and strengthen the non-oil economy. It is based on analysis by La’o Hamutuk, a civil society organisation which has researched policies and outcomes in Timor-Leste since 2000.1

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