Case study

Kick-starting inclusive growth

Timor-Leste's transition to a post-conflict, post-oil economy


for market systems approaches

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Published by
Market Development Facility
Project implementer
Cardno Emerging Markets
Market Development Facility (MDF)
Results level
Case study
Data source
Intervention types
Improved access to finance
Improved input supply
Improved marketing of products
Improved product / service quality
Improved value chain coordination

The Market Development Facility (MDF) is a flagship programme of the Australian government. It focusses on kick-starting the development of promising economic activities including in agribusiness, tourism and manufacturing.

Timor-Leste has now achieved a decade of stability and socio-economic progress. High population growth, if supported by sufficient skills training, provides favourable conditions for labour intensive industries and growing consumer demand.

While recent development has been largely funded by petroleum dollars, pioneering local and international businesses are beginning to realise that the country has important productive investment opportunities.

Intervention description

The MDF case study explores ways to leverage economic opportunities from a market systems approach to achieve inclusive growth for men and women in Timor Leste.

It demonstrates how to engage a government-dependent private sector, encouraging it to become commercially-oriented and pro-poor in a post-conflict economy.

Evidence methodology

This report draws on the experiences of MDF’s country team and partner organisations in Timor Leste.

It was prepared based on:

  • interviews and site visits of nine businesses
  • consultations with the DFAT post and other development partners, including ADB, USAID and IFC
  • conversations with the Government's investment promotion agency, TradeInvest
  • extensive discussions with MDF’s team

Data used is from MDF’s results measurement system which has successfully been audited against the DCED Standard.