Thursday, July 20, 2017

Election in Timor-Leste

Dili, July 21, 2017

After a month long campaign, the people have listening to political programs from 21 political parties who compete for the election.  On July 22, 2017 the people will decide one of the best parties or coalition of the parties to form the VI Constitutional Government  which will govern the country for the next five years.

Based of some observation, to this day 4 ( CNRT, FRETILIN, PLP and PD) among the 21 political parties contestants will gather enough votes to cross the four percent of the threshold. The total ilegible voters for 2017 election is over 700,000.

This is the most successful and peaceful campaign ever held in Timor-Leste run by the Timorese alone. The people of Timor-Leste has shown to the world our capacity to run an election in a peaceful environment, free and fair.

Saturday, March 26, 2016

Happy Easter to all!
May this Easter brings the world Peace and Reconciliation .

Saturday, February 13, 2016

5.5 Million Worldwide Die Each Year From Poor Air Quality

New research shows that more than 5.5 million people die prematurely every year due to household and outdoor air pollution. More than half of deaths occur in two of the world’s fastest growing economies, China and India.

Power plants, industrial manufacturing, vehicle exhaust and burning coal and wood all release small particles into the air that are dangerous to a person’s health. New research, presented today at the 2016 annual meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), found that despite efforts to limit future emissions, the number of premature deaths linked to air pollution will climb over the next two decades unless more aggressive targets are set.

“Air pollution is the fourth highest risk factor for death globally and by far the leading environmental risk factor for disease,” said Michael Brauer, a professor at the University of British Columbia’s School of Population and Public Health in Vancouver, Canada. “Reducing air pollution is an incredibly efficient way to improve the health of a population.”

[NOTE: The researchers will be participating in a press briefing at the 2016 AAAS annual meeting on Friday, February 12 at 1 p.m. EST]

For the AAAS meeting, researchers from Canada, the United States, China and India assembled estimates of air pollution levels in China and India and calculated the impact on health.

Their analysis shows that the two countries account for 55 per cent of the deaths caused by air pollution worldwide. About 1.6 million people died of air pollution in China and 1.4 million died in India in 2013.

In China, burning coal is the biggest contributor to poor air quality. Qiao Ma, a PhD student at the School of Environment, Tsinghua University in Beijing, China, found that outdoor air pollution from coal alone caused an estimated 366,000 deaths in China in 2013.

Ma also calculated the expected number of premature deaths in China in the future if the country meets its current targets to restrict coal combustion and emissions through a combination of energy policies and pollution controls. She found that air pollution will cause anywhere from 990,000 to 1.3 million premature deaths in 2030 unless even more ambitious targets are introduced.

“Our study highlights the urgent need for even more aggressive strategies to reduce emissions from coal and from other sectors,” said Ma.

In India, a major contributor to poor air quality is the practice of burning wood, dung and similar sources of biomass for cooking and heating. Millions of families, among the poorest in India, are regularly exposed to high levels of particulate matter in their own homes.

“India needs a three-pronged mitigation approach to address industrial coal burning, open burning for agriculture, and household air pollution sources,” said Chandra Venkataraman, professor of Chemical Engineering at the Indian Institute of Technology Bombay, in Mumbai, India.

In the last 50 years, North America, Western Europe and Japan have made massive strides to combat pollution by using cleaner fuels, more efficient vehicles, limiting coal burning and putting restrictions on electric power plants and factories.

“Having been in charge of designing and implementing strategies to improve air in the United States, I know how difficult it is. Developing countries have a tremendous task in front of them,” said Dan Greenbaum, president of Health Effects Institute, a non-profit organization based in Boston that sponsors targeted efforts to analyze the health burden from different air pollution sources. “This research helps guide the way by identifying the actions which can best improve public health.”

Saturday, September 12, 2015

Goldman: This may push oil to $20

The risk that oil could fall as low as $20 a barrel is rising, with a persistent surplus requiring prices to remain lower for longer to rebalance the market, Goldman Sachs said, cutting its forecasts again. 
"While we are increasingly convinced that the market needs to see lower oil prices for longer to achieve a production cut, the source of this production decline and its forcing mechanism is growing more uncertain, raising the possibility that we may ultimately clear at a sharply lower price with cash costs around $20 a barrel Brent prices," Goldman said in a note Friday. 
The sources of stress: an abundance of oil coupled with a scarcity of storage space. The bank estimates the industry added around 240 million barrels of petroleum to storage tanks from January to August. It projects available identified storage capacity outside China at around 375 million barrels and expects an around 240 million barrel inventory build outside China between September of this year and the end of 2016.
"If you don't bring U.S. or global production down low enough underneath demand to create that rebalancing then you're likely to slam into storage capacity constraints and that would put that downward pressure," said Jeffrey Currie, head of commodities research at Goldman, in a CNBC "Power Lunch" interview Friday.
Goldman Sach's predition should be looked at as warning to Timor-Leste as a country relies havily on oil revenue. Timor-Leste needs to diversify its economy, investing in the infrastructure, human resolurce development, tourism, agriculture and industry in the next few years. 

Friday, September 11, 2015

Timor-Leste ends Q2 with over 1.25 million mobile users
Wednesday 9 September 2015 | 15:56 CET | News
Timor-Leste ended the second quarter of 2015 with 1.251 million mobile telephony customers, a drop of 7.4 percent compared to the previous quarter, according to figures published by the General Directorate for Statistics of the Ministry of Finance. Timor Telecom was market leader with 620,204 customers (624,312 in Q1), followed by Telemor with 470,370 (586,989) and Telkomcel with 160,000 (132,000). Timor Telecom also had 2,746 fixed telephony subscribers, down from 2,825 in March.
A pathway to more sustainable development in Timor-Leste?

A pathway to more sustainable development in Timor-Leste?

The capital Dili has many new good roads with an increase of infrastructure spending. Photo: Tom Perry/World Bank         
My first visit to Timor-Leste was in 2004. At that time, I saw very little infrastructure around the capital Dili. Then in 2014, I visited Dili before settling down as Country Representative for Timor-Leste and noticed big changes compared to 10 years ago. Dili is now bustling with activities and the markets are packed with people. There are many new roads and bridges, more new buildings, shopping centers, hotels and restaurants.

Yet, while much progress has been made, there have also been concerns around the quality and return on investments in infrastructure. With this in mind, Timor-Leste’s Ministry of Finance, with the World Bank’s support, recently conducted a Public Expenditure Review of Infrastructure and looked at the quality of spending on roads, irrigation and electricity across the country.

A major driver of infrastructure spending in the last few years has been the Strategic Development Plan for 2011-2030, where the government committed itself to developing and improving core infrastructure, such as roads and electricity, to support a modern and productive economy. Through this plan and future investment, the government is aiming to achieve upper-middle income status, with a secure, well-educated and healthy population, by 2030.

Infrastructure: core to Timor-Leste’s growth

The government argues that investing in and building infrastructure, particularly roads, will lead to high economic growth in the short and medium term. However, investments in infrastructure should be commensurate with the needs.

In 2011, Timor-Leste’s spending on infrastructure peaked at $534 million--one of the highest rates of infrastructure spending in the world, and a rapid increase in nominal terms from just $33 million in 2008.

In the short term, spending on infrastructure has contributed to economic growth. Growth has been concentrated in the government administration and construction sectors, where spending grew by 128.4% and 97.4% in real terms in 2008 and 2012 respectively.

Currently the government is in a strong financial position. Having saved more than $16.5 billion in the petroleum fund, there is enough to pay for the 2014 budget more than ten times over. But this may not always be the case. When looking ahead it is always important to have better planning and consider the maintenance cost for all infrastructure to ensure high returns on investments.

Roads: a priority?

A country’s roads system is often said to be its most valuable non-resource asset, and this is certainly true for Timor-Leste. But with more than 6,000 kilometers of roads – many of them in poor condition – Timor-Leste faces the issue of high maintenance cost and a gradual decline of its assets.

A rule of thumb suggests that a country’s road assets should make up 20-40% of the country’s GDP. If Timor-Leste were to fully restore its road network, it would reach around 109% of non-oil GDP; a value much larger than the economy needs, resulting in maintenance costs that require significant financing and trade-offs in the budget.

To manage these restoration and maintenance concerns, the expenditure review suggests a road hierarchy to guide the development and rehabilitation of the country’s road network. Roads critical to economic and social development should be upgraded, while those less critical should be repaired or rehabilitated at a lower level of service.

Electricity: a basic right for all Timorese

The government, through its Strategic Development Plan, affirms that access to electricity is a basic right of all Timorese citizens and fundamental for economic development. The government set itself the ambitious target of universal access to reliable electricity 24 hours a day by the end of 2015.

Dramatic increases in access to electricity have already been seen; from around 22% in 2007, to 53% in 2013. However, this investment carries high costs of subsidies for diesel-generated electricity and some of the world’s highest rates of ‘hidden’ costs such as inadequate measurement of usage, as well as limited billing and payment.

A number of recommendations to address these concerns include measuring and billing for the electricity use, improving the efficiency of the diesel fuel used to power the generators, and diversifying electricity and energy sources.

Irrigation: key to the agriculture development and food supply

One objective of the Strategic Development Plan is for Timor-Leste to be self-sufficient in producing staple food items such as rice.

Having a well-functioning irrigation system is a key element for increasing domestic rice production and therefore vital to realizing this goal. Timor-Leste’s approach to irrigation is aimed at rehabilitating the existing river diversion irrigation systems that were first constructed during the Indonesian occupation. With little or no maintenance since then, many of these systems are no longer functional, and it is estimated it will cost the government approximately $10,000 per hectare to build and/or refurbish them; a high price even by international standards, and one that is unlikely to generate a high enough return on investment to justify it.

The review proposed an alternative, a ‘hybrid’ irrigation strategy, building on existing infrastructure, as well as investing in supplementary tube-well irrigation. It also highlighted the importance of developing local markets and providing support for farmers. While irrigation is critical, without any investment in linked inputs such as seeds, fertilizer, marketing assistance and facilities, the benefits of investing in irrigation infrastructure won’t be maximized.

The Public Expenditure Review of Infrastructure also demonstrates just how complex the planning and management of key infrastructure spending can be.

Investment in infrastructure is vital for Timor-Leste and it is important for the government to act on the review’s findings, spend money wisely, invest in quality projects with enough recurrent funding to keep them well maintained, and to work towards budget sustainability and greater returns for Timor-Leste and its citizens.