The National Directorate of Statistics (DNE: Direcção Nacional de Estatística) from General Directorate Policy Analysis and Research Ministry of Finance today (31 January 2012) released the results of the Business Activity Survey of Timor-Leste conducted in 2010. The survey was the first-ever such survey in Timor-Leste and covered the non-petroleum business sector of the economy.
“The release of these statistics gives us a snapshot for 2010 of the structure and performance of the Timorese business sector” said Emila Pires, Minister of Finance. “The data will be very helpful for government policy development and evaluation. The data will also be very useful for the business sector itself as it seeks to expand over time.”
As well as being useful in their own right, the statistics will also be used by National Directorate of Statistics in the calculation of gross domestic product for Timor-Leste, a key statistic in the overall size and composition of the Timor-Leste economy.
The statistics show that, in 2010, the business sector generated revenues of $892.3 million. With expenses of $657.4 million, the sector generated profits of $234.9 million, or 26 per cent of revenue. Businesses in Dili accounted for 91 per cent of total revenue, with businesses in the other Districts accounting for the rest.
Total employment in the business sector in 2010 was 46,700 persons. Businesses in Dili accounted for 82 per cent of total employment. Of the total employment in the business sector, males accounted for 70 per cent and females 30 per cent.
The biggest industry was the Retail and Wholesale Trade industry, which generated 46 per cent of total revenue and 26 per cent of total employment. The second biggest industry is Construction, accounting for 10 per cent of revenue and 14 per cent of total employment.
The business sector made capital expenditures of $54.0 million in 2010, the Retail and Wholesale trade industry accounting for 52 per cent of this investment expenditure.
Antonio Freitas, Director General of Policy Analysis and Research, Ministry of Finance said that the successful conduct of the survey by DNE represented a major step forward in the development of Timor-Leste’s official statistics. “Being the first-ever such survey, National Directorate of Statistics had to develop innovative approaches in the conduct of the survey. I am very grateful to our development partner, the Asian Development Bank, for its support. I would also like to thank our colleagues at the Australian Bureau of Statistics for their technical support of the survey.”
It is expected that the business activity survey will be conducted annually. “We need to be able to track the performance of the business sector over time. A viable business sector is extremely important to generate jobs and incomes for our people,” said Mr. Freitas.
The National Directorate of Statistics has thanked the business sector as a whole for its support of the survey. Mr. Freitas also thanked individual businesses for their cooperation in providing the data from which the statistics were compiled.