Post-conflict pro-poor private sector development: the case of Timor-Leste

Post-conflict recovery and development is the subject of current attention and a major challenge is that of post-conflict economic development, which is central to reducing poverty and improving local livelihoods. In this regard, many post-conflict development plans place a high priority on private sector development. This paper examines the role of the private sector in post-conflict situations and discusses possible interventions for economic recovery based on a review of the literature and fieldwork in Timor-Leste. The paper identifies key factors critical to pro-poor private sector development in post-conflict situations, with particular reference to Timor-Leste, considers some of the major obstacles, and suggests public policies to identify promising export products and to strengthen small and micro enterprises that might help the country to achieve pro-poor economic recovery and growth.