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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 decreased 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 a 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, worth NZ$2.61 million in the year to December 2014 (almost double the NZ$1.32 million in 2013).  Exports from New Zealand are mainly meat (53%) and dairy (18%).  The principal import is coffee (99%).

New Zealand Trade (year ended Dec 2012)


NZ’s 163rd largest trading partner – total two-way trade NZ$2.61 million

NZ Exports

NZ$2.08 million (FOB)

Main exports

Meat (NZ$1.10m), dairy products (NZ$0.376m), vehicles (NZ$0.295m)

NZ Imports

NZ$0.531 million (CIF)

Main imports

Coffee (NZ$0.525m)

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 will be approximately NZ$14.6 million in the 2014/2015 financial year. Development cooperation with Timor-Leste is underpinned by the Strategic Framework for Development (2012-15) signed in September 2012, with three focus areas: private sector development, education sector, and security and justice.


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
Level 8, Craigs Investment Partners House
36 Customhouse Quay, Wellington

Ph: +64 4 472 2292

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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: Tuesday, 13 October 2015 16:48 NZDT