Oscar Lima: East Timorese entrepreneurs are being hurt by foreign domination Featured

President of Chamber of Commerce Timor Leste, Oscar Lima President of Chamber of Commerce Timor Leste, Oscar Lima Photo Independent

By Oki & Monty Jacka

Tempotimor (Dili) - According to the President of the Timor-Leste Chamber of Commerce and Industry (KKI-TL), Oscar Lima, the government is currently set up in a way which hinders local entrepreneurs.

Speaking at a Kafe Dader event, Mr Lima also questioned the lack of a land law which supports local entrepreneurs through banks:

"This is very important because our entrepreneurs will not invest domestically if they do not get access to cheap credit from banks in Timor-Leste,” he said.

“I have talked to all the general directors of all these banks, because I have long held the position of president of the KKI-TL, we have chosen a representative of Rui Castro to focus all his attention on financial matters, but the Bank has not given a good answer for what we need.”

Mr Lima also questioned the payment process to local entrepreneurs which he claims is not going well.

"If possible we may look back at the payment system which until now is at a standstill. It is not going so well. When the domestic economy is not going well, entrepreneurs will have debt with the government. This is one of the problems.”

Mr Lima urged the government to continue to strengthen cooperation between the private sector and the public sector.

"If each one goes on its own, it will be difficult, because the payment process has to do with companies, some companies do not currently add more workers, but instead they reduce from existing work. This is very influential on our economic activities in the country."

There is currently a tendency by the government to discriminate and benefit businessmen from abroad over local East Timorese entrepreneurs, Mr Lima said.

"In principle, people come from China, the Philippines or Indonesia. They come and make business that the Timorese have done, this has a big impact on our economy, because we are unable to compete with them, because they get cheap moves (credit interest) compared to local entrepreneurs whose credit interest exceeds 20 percent.”

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Last modified on Wednesday, 14 August 2019 10:47
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