Analyzing Options and Making Recommendations to Support Trade and Investment in East Timor
Under the direction of Finance Minister Emilia Pires, the government of East Timor, which only became independent in 2002, has given high priority to economic development. One aspect of the government’s economic development plan is to consider the creation of special economic zones (SEZs) − designated geographic areas that typically have economic laws more progressive than those in the rest of a country. To create one or more SEZs, the government would need to develop a regulatory regime addressing a range of issues relating to trade and investment law, employment law, environmental law and companies law, among others.
At the Minister’s request, New Perimeter undertook a comprehensive study and prepared a report analyzing SEZ successes and failures and identifying best practices in existing global SEZs. The comprehensive report includes background information about SEZs, provides an overview of ten potential “model” zones for East Timor, gives an assessment of the risks and benefits relating to the creation of an SEZ in East Timor and provides information on next-steps should the Government choose to pursue the creation of an SEZ. Teams of lawyers travelled to East Timor on a number of occasions to present the findings in the report to the Minister and other high-level government officials and to conduct workshops on special economic zones.