Timor-Leste Country Report
Timor-Leste's open attitude towards foreign investment is negated by a shortage of skills, governance issues, and inadequate infrastructure. Power and telecommunications are expensive and unreliable, although the government is undertaking initiatives to develop these sectors. Labour costs are comparatively high, despite a surplus of unskilled labour and a young workforce.
Terrorism risks in Timor-Leste are low. The killing of leading political dissident Mauk Moruk in August 2015 reduced the risk of armed attacks by domestic groups. There are no known terrorist groups operating in the country, although the borders with Indonesia are the source of other security threats such as smuggling.
Overall crime rates are low. Foreign visitors are rarely targeted in incidents of violent crime, which tend to involve local residents. The main risks are opportunistic, petty crime such as pickpocketing and car theft, particularly in bigger cities like Dili and Baucau. The most common organised crime groups in Timor-Leste are street gangs and martial arts gangs.
There is a low risk of war between Timor-Leste and its neighbours, Indonesia and Australia. There has been no major security incident on the border between Indonesia and Timor-Leste since the latter's independence, and a war between Indonesia and Timor-Leste is highly unlikely. Timor-Leste's ties relations with Australia are also generally constructive, particularly given the recent resolution and ratification of the maritime boundary agreement. Future discussion over oil and gas revenue sharing in the Timor Sea will be done diplomatically, and there are no indications that they will lead to any form of military conflict.
Vaccinations required to enter the country
Proof of vaccination against yellow fever is required if traveling from a country with risk of yellow fever transmission and over one year of age.
Hepatitis A: A vaccine is available for anyone over one year of age. The vaccine may not be effective for certain people, e.g. those born before 1945 and who lived as a child in a developing country and/or have a past history of jaundice (icterus). These people can instead get a shot of immune globulin (IG) to boost their immunity against the disease.
Hepatitis B: A vaccine is available for children at least two months old.
Diphtheria-Tetanus-Polio: A booster shot should be administered if necessary (once every ten years).
Typhoid Fever: If your travels take you to regions with poor sanitary conditions (for children two years old and up).
Rabies: For prolonged stays in an isolated region (for children from when they can walk).
Japanese Encephalitis: For stays of longer than one month in a rural zone during the rainy season (for children over the age of one). The vaccine is administered in a local medical facility.
Malaria: Recommended preventive medication - mefloquine (sometimes marketed as Lariam) or doxycycline (sometimes marketed as Vibramycin).
For Children: All standard childhood immunizations should be up-to-date. In the case of a long stay, the BCG vaccine is recommended for children over one month and the MMR (measles-mumps-rubella) vaccine for children over nine months.
Timor-Leste is situated in an active seismic zone and as such is prone to earthquakes, such as the one along the coast on December 2016 (6,6 on Richter scale).
Finally, foreign visitors should take into account the fact that roads are poorly maintained and accidents occur frequently. It is therefore best to avoid driving at night.
Timor-Leste's climate is tropical with steady temperatures throughout the year and high levels of humidity. There are two seasons: the wet monsoon (November to March) and the dry monsoon (April to October).
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