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Map of Timor Leste

Map of Timor-Leste.
flag of the Democratic Republic of Timor-Leste.

Democratic Republic of Timor-Leste


New Zealand has a warm relationship with Timor-Leste that has traditionally focused on military and police support and on development assistance. As the security situation has improved, our military and police elements have reduced in significance and development assistance has become the central element of our relationship. New Zealand's trade relationship with Timor-Leste is also growing and broadening, although from an admittedly low base. There have been several recent high-level visits between Timor-Leste and New Zealand.


Bilateral links

Trade and economic relationship

Bilateral trade is small in volume and value. Exports from New Zealand are mainly wine, meat and dairy. The principal import is coffee.

New Zealand Trade (year ended Dec 2012)


NZ’s 186th largest trading partner

NZ Exports

NZ$465,358 (FOB)

Main exports

Wine (NZ$131,271); Meat (NZ$114,487); Dairy (NZ$80,940)

NZ Imports

NZ$238,109 (CIF)

Main imports

Coffee (NZ$236,912);

Political and cultural links

Defence and Police

Since the 1999 referendum that led to the restoration of independence, New Zealand Defence and Police personnel have been deployed to Timor Leste in significant numbers. Following the withdrawal of the United Nations Integrated Mission in Timor-Leste (UNMIT) in December 2012 and the withdrawal of the International Stabilization Force (ISF) in March 2013, New Zealand's Defence and Police presence has reduced significantly. New Zealand now has five NZDF personnel in Timor-Leste under the Mutual Assistance Programme (MAP), two New Zealand Police officers permanently based in-country under the bilateral Timor-Leste Community Policing Programme, as well as New Zealand-based Police mentors who visit Timor-Leste several times a year.

Development assistance

New Zealand is committed to supporting Timor-Leste's growth into a stable, democratic and prosperous nation. Total aid flow is forecast to be maintained at approximately NZ$10.6 million in 2013/14. Projects include a new focus on support for activities that contribute to micro and small enterprise development, particularly the agriculture and tourism sectors. The Strategic Framework for Development 2012-15, agreed between the two governments, has three focus areas: private sector investment, education and training, and security and justice.

Education and student exchanges

New Zealand provides up to 15 scholarships annually for Timorese students to study at tertiary institutions in New Zealand, and supports a graduate internship programme, which assists recent graduates in securing employment on return to Timor-Leste. Up to 12 Timorese officials also take part in the English language training for officials (ELTO) programme each year.

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Regional and multilateral links

Timor-Leste is part of the geographical region of Southeast Asia. It has applied for ASEAN membership and a committee has been established to consider this application. Indonesia is a strong advocate for Timor-Leste's ASEAN aspirations. Post-independence, Indonesia's relationship with Timor-Leste has improved significantly. Indonesia is now the largest source of imports into Timor-Leste and is undertaking large contracts to rebuild Timor-Leste's infrastructure.

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Recent Timor-Leste high-level visits to New Zealand

Recent New Zealand high level visits to Timor-Leste

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New Zealand is represented in Timor-Leste by:

New Zealand Embassy, Dili [external link]

Timor-Leste is represented in New Zealand by:

Embassy of Timor-Leste
Blaxland Crescent
ACT 2603 Canberra

Ph: 0061 2 6260 8800
Fax: 0061 2 6239 7682

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Travel advice

The Safe Travel website provides a travel advisory for travellers to Timor-Leste [external link].

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Page last updated: Monday, 09 December 2013 13:00 NZDT