Subject: LUSA: GDP growth of over 6% needed to reach development goals, says PM

East Timor: GDP growth of over 6% needed to reach development goals, says PM

Dili, March 15 (Lusa) - East Timor's economy needs to grow by more than 6% annually from 2007 if the new nation is to meet the UN's Millennium Development Goals by 2015, Prime Minister Mari Alkatiri said Wednesday.

At a briefing on the findings of the latest visit to Timor by officials from the International Monetary Fund, Alkatiri said his government hoped to achieve the required GDP expansion through sustained social and economic growth.

Boosted private and public investment will fuel growth in coming years, said Alkatiri, adding that public spending in the next state budget, coming into force June 1, would reach a total USD 70 million compared to USD 8 million in the current financial year.

The Dili government's budget plan is still under preparation, said Alkatiri, adding that the proposals forecast expenditure of over USD 200 million.

Budget support from Timor's donor community will be reduced in next year's fiscal blueprint, as in previous years, and this international assistance will drop to only USD 10 million in the 2007 budget, said Alaktiri.

A crucial factor to the success, or otherwise, of Dili's future macroeconomic performance and targets will be the quality of work and services provided by national firms contracted to build infrastructure projects, the Timorese leader concluded.



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