Members, Our Voice, Statements

V20 Ministerial Dialogue IX Statement delivered by H.E. Rui Augusto Gomes, Minister of Finance, Timor-Leste

Statement delivered by H.E. Rui Augusto Gomes, Minister of Finance, Timor-Leste


16 October 2022

H.E. Rui Augusto Gomes, Minister of Finance, Timor-Leste

Thank you, Ms. Chair, Excellencies, fellow Ministers from the V20 member states.

Like many island states Timor is prone to natural disasters.  And in the last two years we experienced the worst floods in our recent history, caused by the effects of climate change for which we are not responsible. 

There have been 14 natural disasters of various types since we restored our independence 20 years ago.  And this is unprecedented.  Erratic precipitation has now become more frequent and the country experiences one cyclone every five years. The damages to agriculture, infrastructure, and housing caused by last year’s flood are a significant loss to GDP, estimated at 15 percent of normal LGDP, with total recovery costs of more than 420 million, that is 25 percent of non-oil GDP.

In fact, Timor-Leste is vulnerable to climate change and natural disaster risk is amongst the highest across Asian economics and is expected to worsen.  And we have limited fiscal space to deal with climate change shocks.

With the worsening of climate change, with potential increase in hazard occurrence, combined with the disruptions of supply chains caused by the war in Ukraine, it has added to high inflation.  The cost of construction of climate-proof infrastructure will increase exponentially.  Therefore, Timor-Leste would like to join other voices in this auditorium requesting for more cooperation between countries and more multi-abilities in a time when countries seem to turn inwards and left to work out their own survival strategies.

Let’s continue to identify more and better practical multi-lateral, multi-sectoral, and cross institutional solutions to inspire greater confidence in multilateralism.

Timor-Leste is interested in regional and sub-regional approaches including South-South and triangular cooperation. And we are especially keen to collaborate on sustainable growth opportunities.

Thank you for organizing this meeting today to show our commitment to the global issues and to renew our trust that multilateralism can still provide solutions to both national as well as global challenges.  Thank you, Chair.