Dili, June 19th, 2020: HE, the Prime Minister, Taur Matan Ruak, swore in, this Thursday, in the Government Palace, in Dili, the members of the Economic Recovery Plan Preparation Committee, which consists of the Chairman, Mr Rui Augusto Gomes, and the members, Mr Rui Maria de Araújo, Mr Manuel Vong, Mr Carlos da Silva Lopes ‘Saki’ and Dra. Berta Montalvão, through Order no. 047 / PM / VI / 2020, of June 16th.
In the speech after inaugural ceremony, the Chief Executive explained that the establishment of this Committee for the economic recovery plan preparation has three goals: firstly, to ensure the greatest possible consensus of society around the main investment areas, secondly, to define clear investment priorities and, thirdly, to have the courage to invest, in order to be able to normalise the economy, which is falling due to COVID-19.
“Why did we establish this Committee? Firstly, so that we can obtain as much consensus as possible from society, because this is an unusual situation. As we have said today about Coronavirus, this is not only a crisis, but above all it is an opportunity for us, and so now is an opportunity for us to seek the greatest consensus around the important areas for investment. Secondly, the aim is to clearly define priorities, because we think it is necessary to invest. And thirdly, since we have few resources, we must have the courage to invest, if we want to normalize the economy in our country. These were the three goals that led to the creation of this committee”, explained the Head of Government.
In addition to that, the Head of Government has asked the team now in office to run a diagnosis in order to establish the current situation of where Timor-Leste is now, what the global, regional and national trends are in the medium and long term, and how the country can fit into this context. This request also includes an analysis of the macroeconomic situation, to foresee what steps Timor-Leste should take in the future.
Finally, the Head of Government offered congratulatory remarks to the incumbents, and assured that the Government, under his leadership, will provide maximum support so that this team can prepare the plans on economic recovery shortly, and by counting on bilateral and multilateral support, the Government can clearly define the necessary investments to get out of the economic decline that currently faces, due to the effect of the COVID-19 pandemic.
“You need to analyse, assess, diagnose, to see where we are now. That is the primary goal. Then, look at global, regional and national trends, in the short- and medium term, to see how the world will work. And see how Timor-Leste can fit into that context. And deeply analyse the macroeconomic trends, to foresee what steps we can take in the future. I, and the Government, we are available to support you, within our possibilities”, said the Head of Government.
The Committee for the economic recovery plan preparation was established through the no. 18/2020 Government Resolution, of June 10th. The Commission has 60 days to carry out its duties, working together with UPMA-PMO, relevant ministries, relevant parliamentary committees, the private sector and other important entities, to design an economic recovery plan that answer the negative socio-economic effects caused by COVID-19. The plan will be submitted to the Council of Ministers for approval, and will serve as a reference for Government action on economic recovery process.
Short biography of the Committee Chairman and Members:
Mr Rui Augusto Gomes, Committee Chairman, is the current chief advisor on economic affairs to the President of the Republic, Mr Francisco Guterres Lú Olo, as a Timorese economist, former Minister of Finance in the VII Constitutional Government and former Head of the Civil House of the Presidency of the Republic, during the presidency of Taur Matan Ruak. Mr Rui Augusto Gomes has a South Bank University PhD, in London, since 1998.
Mr Rui Maria de Araújo, Committee member, former Prime Minister of the VI Constitutional Government, is the current spokesperson for the Situation Room of the Integrated Crisis Management Centre (SS-CIGC), an entity that is responsible for monitoring the spread of COVID-19. Mr Rui Maria de Araújo, who also served as Minister of Health in the I and VII Constitutional Governments, has a vast amount of experience in politics and governance.
Mr Berta Montalvão, Committee member, is the current Vice-President of the association of entrepreneur’s women of the CPLP, and the representative of Timor-Leste in that organization. She has a degree in Human Resources from ISCTE, Lisbon-Portugal. She has 15 years’ experience as a Human Resources consultant, in Portugal, Angola and Timor-Leste, in the oil, banking, construction, transport and communication sectors.
Mr Carlos da Silva Lopes ‘Saki’, Committee member, is currently advisor to the Democratic Party in the National Parliament and the President-Counsellor of the Haburas Foundation. He has a degree in Sociology and Planning from ISCTE, in Lisbon-Portugal, since 2004. He has some experience in previous governance, as advisor for social affairs to the Prime Minister. He is the Pedagogical Coordinator of the CNEFP and also a lecturer at Universidade da PAZ and DIT.
Mr Manuel Vong, Committee member, currently assumes the position of Program Director of the Graduate School, Master of Business Administration (MBA) at the Dili Institute of Technology (DIT). He has a PhD in Tourism from the University of Algarve, Portugal, since 2013. END/PMO