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Government economists to analyse impact of public investment projects

Dili- A group of 21 economists and analysts from the Ministries of Finance, Planning and Strategic Investment, and Economic Affairs have completed a four-day training on how to analyse public investment projects.  This training was the first activity of a two-year training as part of the fiscal reform efforts for improved service delivery.

During the training, which was organized by the Asian Development Bank in collaboration with the Fiscal Reform Commission and the National Directorate of Economic Policy, government officials learned how to analyse the financial and economic impacts of investment projects. They also learned how to apply their new skills to case studies based on real projects in Timor-Leste.

Careful analysis of investment projects helps to ensure that public resources are used wisely. “The Government of Timor-Leste is committed to using evidence-based policies,” said Vice Minister of Finance Helder Lopes. “As such, it is critical that government officials have the necessary skills to assess if investment projects will be cost-effective, and if they can really deliver benefits to the people of Timor-Leste.”

“The government needs economists that can support policy makers with sound technical assessments of the cost and impact of fiscal policy,” said Fiscal Reform Commission Coordinator Fernanda Borges. “This capacity needs to be embedded in ministries that have responsibility for investment, expenditures and the collection of revenue so that we can understand the benefits and impacts of projects, particularly on the poor.”

“Building capacity for economic analysis will help Timor-Leste to achieve better outcomes from its public investments,” said ADB Country Director Paolo Spantigati. “The ADB is pleased to support this training, and I am very impressed by how hard the students have worked.”

Participants were trained on how to identify projects, review project feasibility studies, and analyse economic costs and benefits. Economics training for government officials will be continuing under the partnership between the Ministry of Finance and the ADB.

About the Fiscal Reform Commission

The Fiscal Reform Commission is a technical body established by the Sixth Constitutional Government of Timor-Leste, Resolution no. 26/2015, and mandated with assessing all current and new forms of revenue. Improving government service delivery is a key priority of the Fiscal Reform Commission who will work with relevant government agencies to guide and implement the reforms.

For further information, please contact: Celestina da Costa Barros, Fiscal Reform Commission, on 7537 9228, ccbarros@mof.gov.tl