Boston, MA -- (SBWIRE) -- 05/19/2014 -- Executive summary
East Timor's incumbent loses its monopoly following the licensing of two new operators
East Timor, which has adopted the name Timor-Leste and has come to be commonly known by both versions of the name, is continuing its effort to simply maintain integrity as a nation. The country ranked number 23 in the 2011 Index of Failed States, not a promising statement on its national development status;
however, this was up from 20 in the 2009 Index. And it had jumped to 28th place in 2012. It further improved the following year reaching 32 in 2013.
So in the last few years East Timor has removed itself out the 'critical' 20 category and continued with some modest but nonetheless important gains in the way it manages itself. The nation has been pressing ahead with the regeneration of its economy and the rebuilding of infrastructure. The effort to roll out telecommunications infrastructure in particular has been a key part of this. Despite the considerable energy that has been going into this rebuilding, the prevailing social and political environment continues to present major challenges to those seeking to improve the country.
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After years of struggle and heartache East Timor gained its independence from Indonesia in 2002. The euphoria had hardly diminished when political instability and the civil unrest erupted in the country in 2006 and continued into 2007. Despite the election of a new government led by Nobel Peace Laureate Jose Ramos-Horta in 2007, opposition to the administration caused further violence and looting. A state of emergency declared in 2008 was lifted a few months later, following the surrender of most of the rebels. There has been no major political unrest since then.
To the outside observer, the country appeared to have started reasonably well in rebuilding its entire infrastructure following the turbulence that ensued after the referendum of 1999. However, the events over the 2006-2008 period caused major concerns about the direction of East Timor;
it remained difficult to assess the long term impact of these events on the country's fragile economy. It is noted that government spending has increased dramatically over the last few years in line with the country's increased energy income.
East Timor remains one of the poorer countries in the Asia-Pacific region, despite the implementation of a National Development Plan and the considerable progress it has made since independence. The ongoing challenges are significant;
the public sector administration, law and justice, and governance are all crying out for further attention, whilst a critically low skills base, high population growth and limited prospects to generate jobs combine to compound the situation further. East Timor faces a complex array of problems. It will need substantial assistance from the international community, for some time to come.
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