Monday, 19 April 2010

PDM-TL's Project Blog is Changing Locations!

As of today, Peace Dividend Marketplace Timor-Leste's project blog,, is moving to a new web address - Keep up to speed on the doings of Peace Dividend Trust not only in Timor-Leste, but across the globe, as the site merges project blogs from PDT's other marketplace projects, Afghanistan and Haiti.

Click here to check it out!

Tuesday, 13 April 2010

"Buy Local. Build Timor-Leste" Marketing Campaign Odds and Ends

The team at Peace Dividend Marketplace Timor-Leste (PDM-TL) welcomes a new member into its folds as the Marketing Associate, Mr. Miguel Alves. Mr. Alves joined PDT just before Easter and has already been responsible for coordinating various activities that will be seen across Dili in the coming weeks.

Miguel Alves, PDM-TL's new Marketing Associate.

A few weeks ago, a new billboard has been erected in Metiaut, Dili, visible to all those who are traveling from the center of the city out towards Cristo Rei and Areia Branca.

The new "Buy Local. Build Timor-Leste" billboard in Metiaut.

If you're interested in learning a little more about the PDM-TL project, catch Peace Dividend Trust on the local channel TVTL. The program will feature PDT's Deputy Director Ilidio Ximenes as he introduces PDT's activities and engages in a discussion on private sector development with Mrs. Florentina Smith, Director of Industry for the Ministry of Tourism, Industry and Commerce and Eduardo Belo Soares, owner of the successful carpentry outfit Bainuaga. It will air next Monday 19 April at 6:30pm, don't miss it!

The "Buy Local. Build Timor-Leste" marketing campaign is made possible by the generous support of the Arsenault Family Foundation.

Wednesday, 7 April 2010

Entrepreneurial Spirit and Success in Bobonaro District

Josefina Vicente of Maliana, Bobonaro could be called the quintessential business woman. With an entrepreneurial spirit and $300 in capital, she opened up a small business in 2001, just two years after Timor-Leste voted out their Indonesian occupiers, selling gasoline, cigarettes and clothing racks to the local community. With profits on the rise, she made an investment on a dump truck which entered her company into the construction sector. As her business grew, it began to incorporate water supply and drainage systems into its repertoire of offered services, thus morphing into the company now know as JEDOVIONA. Perhaps the pinnacle of her construction enterprises' success was the win of a Government issued tender valued at $2,660,000 in 2007. 

The PDM-TL team now finds Ms. Vicente in Maliana running both JEDOVIONA and Tansos Hotel, a 12 room complex that she created with profits from her 2007 success. In an interview with Matchmaking Associates Ilidio Ximenes and Brigida Soares, Ms. Vicente spoke very highly of the services offered to her two companies by Peace Dividend Trust and expressed her interest in collaborating with PDT in the future. The PDT team in Bobonaro, when approached by international travelers, includes Tansos Hotel on the list of comfortable accommodations in the Maliana area, generating a high level of business for Ms. Vicente. The hotel staffs 8 employees, four men and four women.

Peace Dividend Trust is currently being funded by AusAid, the Canadian Embassy in Indonesia, the Arsenault Family Foundation, and the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

Friday, 26 March 2010

Hitting the Waves - "Buy Local. Build Timor-Leste" Takes a Nautical Turn

 "Buy Local. Build Timor-Leste" at sea.

Aside from finishing a total of 102 tiga roda, the painting crew at Creative Sablon interspersed their efforts on land with efforts at sea to deck out the boats moored in Dili Harbor. Organized by Peace Dividend Trust's Matchmaking Associate Brigida Soares, 10 boats are now finely displaying the "Buy Local. Build Timor-Leste" message on their hulls, cabins and sides. Among these boats is the fishing boat Manutasi that weekenders to Atauro will recognize as their return vessel to Dili that braves the short voyage Monday mornings.

The outside view of the cabin of the Manutasi. 

Mrs. Soares also had the opportunity to brief local media about the project, raising awareness of  the impact purchasing local goods and services in Timor-Leste has on the local economy. Televisaun Timor-Leste (TVTL) featured Mrs. Soares on Friday March 22nd, covering her activities in Dili Harbor and promoting Peace Dividend Trusts' activities in Timor-Leste. Other media outfits that spoke with Mrs. Soares were Televisaun Suara Timor-Leste (TV STL), Diario Nacional, and Radio Televisaun Timor-Leste (RTTL).

Mrs. Soares giving an interview to RTTL.

An interview at the beach with TV STL.

Another interview at the beach with Diario Nacional.

This activity was funded by The Arsenault Family Foundation.

Wednesday, 24 March 2010

Featured Business Profile - Garcia Farm

Chicken coops at Garcia Farm in Railaco, Ermera.

At the end of a bumpy and heavily eroding road, across hills, fields and streams, sits the expansive chicken farm Garcia Farm. A few weeks ago,  Peace Dividend Trust's Tender Distribution Service Associate Eduardo da Costa recommended to the Verification team that they take the one and a half hour journey to Railaco, Ermera to see the sight for themselves and create a business profile for it on the Online Procurement Database.

PDT Tender Distribution Service Associate Eduardo da Costa walking the rows of chickens.

 With currently 24,000 chickens in the coop, the farm is setting itself up to be the number one supplier of chicken eggs and poultry meat in Timor-Leste. Not to mention it's quite a sight to see. The operation currently employs 21 local laborers, 9 male and 12 female. In addition to these, specialized technicians are flown in from Indonesia every three months to perform the necessary vaccinations and medical treatment needed to keep the chickens healthy.

The Verification team surveys the farm.

The farm has already garnered support from the government, with President Jose Ramos Horta and the Secretary of State for Agriculture and Arboriculture present at the launching ceremony. It has also been invested in by the Indonesian cigarette company, Djarum. 

PDT is currently being funded by AusAid and The Arsenault Family Foundation

Thursday, 18 March 2010

Announcing New Facebook Fanpage. Peace Dividend Marketplace Timor-Leste

Peace Dividend Trust is excited to announce the new Facebook fanpage - Peace Dividend Marketplace Timor-Leste!

The Peace Dividend Marketplace Timor-Leste (PDM-TL) is one of Peace Dividend Trust's economic recovery projects. It was launched in Dili in August 2007 with support from the Australian Agency for International Development (AusAID). The project also receives funding from the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Eni and the Arsenault Family Foundation. In addition to its headquarters in Dili, PDM-TL has field offices in Baucau, Cova Lima and Viqueque. It works in cooperation with the Ministry of Tourism Commerce and Industry.

Contact us:

Mission: Help inspire long-term economic growth and stability in Timor-Leste by supporting and encouraging local procurement and investment in the Timorese marketplace.

The PDM-TL project provides the following services:

1. A Business portal which offers instant reliable access to over 2,000 local suppliers as well as other useful information about PDM services: via at
2. Business Matchmaking creates linkages between local suppliers and international buyers.
3. Tender Distribution Services collect, translate and disseminate tenders to local suppliers via SMS, email and at our PDM-TL office.
4. Market Information and Advocacy identifies emerging business opportunities and publishes relevant information on the local marketplace via reports and blogs (please see our websites above). Advocacy may include campaigns and other efforts to raise awareness of the important role local procurement can play in bringing long-term peace and stability to Timor-Leste.

This fanpage will replace all other Facebook sites related to the Timor Marketplace project.

Wednesday, 17 March 2010

Let the Painting Begin!

 The "Buy Local. Build Timor-Leste" stencil.

This morning marked the first day of the painting of approximately 100 tiga roda, or pushcarts, around Dili. Today, stationed in front of UNTL (Universidade Nacional Timor Lorosa'e), across from the country's Parliament, PDT's Verification Assistant Baptista da Silva was busy at work overseeing the collaboration between the painters and tiga roda vendors. As the project continues, the painting team from Creative Sablon will be visiting clusters of tiga roda across the city to paint PDT's logo and slogan on the cart's sides. This effort is aimed at increasing the awareness of the importance of spending money locally in order to promote stability and economic growth in a post-conflict country.

This activity was funded by Arsenault Family Foundation (AFF)

Monday, 15 March 2010

Cattle Exportation: Linking East Timor to West

Bobonaro cattle ready for exportation.

Peace Dividend Trust Matchmaking (MM) assistants in the district of Bobonaro continue to link Timor-Leste's cattle traders to buyers in West Timor. Recently, the team has connected Mr. Justino Luis, a local Maliana supplier of cattle meat to local restaurants and consumers, to Mr. Ali Fahmi in Atambua, Indonesia. Since the beginning of December, this relationship established by the MM team has already yielded the sale of 52 head of cattle, bringing home $22,115 for this Bobonaro based supplier.

Mr. Fahmi continues to seek assistance from the matchmaking staff who are now looking to other districts to fill larger orders. Already, the team has found in the district of Manatuto 5,000 head of cattle, which through the assistance of MM staff in both districts, will be transported to Bobonaro and then on to Indonesia. Reviving these ties between East and West Timor is one vital step in generating economic activity in Timor-Leste.

If you have any questions about the Matchmaking process please contact Matchmaking Associates Ilidio Ximenes or Brigida Soares at

PDT at the time of this transaction was being funded by AusAID and Eni.

Tuesday, 9 March 2010

PDT Timor. Over 2,500 businesses, and up to 22 million USD in business.

The Timor-Leste Online Procurement Database surpassed for the first time the 2,500 mark with 2,557 individual businesses featured.

While the Tender Distribution Services program reached the $8 million mark in terms of transactions it facilitated to local enterprises.

In the meantime, the Matchmaking team confirmed the program helped inject over $6 million in the economy of the nine districts in which it operates. Concrete examples of successful transactions facilitated by Peace Dividend Trust can be found here (below) on the PDM-TL project blog.

In summary, total confirmed and estimated transactions

Local procurement transactions created and accelerated by PDT: Total - $22,300,000

In February, the Business Verification team undertook verification and re-verification activities in Dili and in the district of Ermera.

Monday, 8 March 2010

Viqueque Farmers Secure $1,028 in Exchange for Peanuts

 A Raitahu farmer tying off a bag of peanuts before it is transferred to Mr.Mario da Costa.

Back in touch with Mr. Mario da Costa, a Seed Production Officer from the Seeds of Life program, the Viqueque Matchmaking team facilitated a substantial transaction of peanuts in the rural village of Raitahu, Viqueque.

Farmers sorting through a mound of peanuts.

One of the biggest challenges of linking buyers to suppliers in this region is the lack of communication options available; not one of the farmers involved in the transaction owned a telephone. In spite of this, the team was able to locate enough farmers to provide Mr. Mario da Costa with 1,371kgs of peanuts, resulting in a total of $1,028 dollars that directly entered Viqueque's local economy.

Raitahu farmers standing in front of bagged peanuts.

If you have any questions about the matchmaking process or would like assistance in finding local goods and services, please don't hesitate to contact PDM-TL's Matchmaking Associates Ilidio Ximenes or Brigida Soares at

PDT's Matchmaking program at the time of this transaction was being funded by AusAid and Eni.

Wednesday, 24 February 2010

Featured Business - Sao Jose Carpintaria

Owner Mr. Gagu with his personally crafted product, model Timorese traditional houses.

Located in the small town of Hatolia in the District of Ermera, Mr. Julito Gagu's company Sao Jose Carpintaria supplies the community with carpentry products made from teak wood. However, the normal range of carpentry wares is not all that Mr. Gagu's specializes in assembling; individually constructed models of traditional Timorese houses or uma adat are what makes Gagu's carpentry outfit memorable. 

Sao Jose Carpintaria's online profile page on the Online Procurement Database.

Even though Sao Jose Carpintaria encounters problems faced by many rural business operating in Timor-Leste, such as lack of transport and electricity, the company has already attracted the attention of local buyers. He has been commissioned several times by Hatolia's junior high school to construct model houses to be used as gifts for international donors. An added benefit of collaboration with the school is the assistance in tuition payment that he now receives for his five children.

To learn more of Sao Jose Carpintaria, please visit Peace Dividend Trust's Online Procurement Database, To learn more about the Peace Dividend Marketplace - Timor-Leste project, email

Friday, 19 February 2010

Two Tender Wins Creates 26 New Jobs for Medina Construction

Medina Construction was founded in January of last year and had little experience in applying for tenders. However, after two visits to Peace Dividend Trust's Tender Distribution Service, Mr. Jose Medina was able to successfully apply and win two UNDP contracts worth a collective $53,770.60. Because of the influx in work, Medina Construction hired 26 national laborers to help complete the project; 14 of these stayed on with the company permanently.

Medina Construction team working on the first tender - Kobe Houses for UNDP.

In addition to mainstream construction activities, Mr. Medina, a native of the Philippines, engages his company's resources and time in partnering with a variety local enterprises including Helmi Construction and Hidayat Construction to offer his expertise as an engineering consultant.

 Finishing touches being put on the second UNDP tender - a community center in Dili.

If you have any questions about the tendering process in Timor-Leste or would like to receive information about available tenders, do not hesitate to contact the Tender Distribution Services Associate Eduardo Da Costa +670.735.2854.

PDT's Tender Distribution Service is funded by AusAid.

Monday, 15 February 2010

Rural Businesses Advocate "Buy Local, Build Timor-Leste"

You can see it painted on billboards, advertised in restaurants, lining the sides of cars, motorbikes and trolleys, and positioned in front of PDT's four offices in Baucau, Covalima, Dili and Viqueque. Now Peace Dividend Trust's "Buy Local, Build Timor-Leste" logo and slogan can even be viewed on the walls of private businesses operating in rural regions of Timor-Leste. Joining the campaign to promote local procurement, 18 businesses proudly display the message that encourages spenders in Timor-Leste to purchase locally.


Pictured above in Covalima, Loja Caracol Lda (top) and Guest House Felanna (bottom) offered wall space to feature the display. In addition to Covalima, the logo and slogan can be seen painted on the outsides of businesses in the districts of Lautem, Manatuto, Manufahi and Viqueque.

This activity was funded by Eni.

Tuesday, 9 February 2010

A $1,460 Deal for Manatuto Soybean Farmer

With the aid of PDT’s district Matchmaking (MM) team, local Manatuto farmer Abilio Joao Martins was able to find a buyer for 2,921kg of soybeans worth $1,460.50.

Gilberto Amaral, PDT’s Viqueque District Representative, was contacted by a previous client, Mr. Venancio Siqueira Ximenes, who had purchased a large sum of soybeans in Viqueque. Mr. Ximenes, satisfied with his first purchase, sought an additional quantity of soybeans to sell to wholesalers in Dili. Mr. Amaral in turn contacted Matchmaking staff in the district of Manatuto who were able to quickly link Mr. Ximenes with Mr. Martins, despite the fact they had never met face to face before.

Manatuto MM team members Benigno Humberto da Cruz (center) and Fransisco Remedios Quintao (right) with Mr. Abilio Joao Martins.

After the transaction, Mr. Martins expressed his satisfaction with PDT’s Matchmaking system in the districts, citing that its services motivate him to continue to work in the agricultural arena. This particular sale of soybeans has substantially increased both Mr. Martin’s income and standard of living. As a result, his children now have four bicycles to go back and forth from school each day. Currently, PDT’s Matchmaking teams operate in 9 out of the 13 districts of Timor-Leste. For more information about the Matchmaking program, please contact Ilidio Ximenes +670.723.3335 or Brigida Soares +670.729.8264. For addition inquires about PDT's operations in  Timor-Leste, please email

PDT’s Matchmaking activities are funded by AusAid.

Monday, 1 February 2010

Success for Rice Farmers in District of Viqueque

Peace Dividend Trust's Micro Matchmaking Assistants in the district of Viqueque Gilberto Amaral, Antonio do Rosario and Vasco Maria Perreira have worked together over the past four months to secure a large transaction of field rice for Mr. Mario da Costa, a Seed Production Officer from the Seeds of Life program. The PDT Viqueque team utilized their extensive network of local suppliers to find enough rice to fill Mr. da Costa's order of 64,500kg resulting in a transaction worth $32,250 awarded to Viqueque farmers.

In addition to facilitating district based transactions, PDT's Micro Matchmaking team has undergone a bit of restructuring as it has absorbed control of the Dili based Matchmaking program. All services offered by Matchmaking and Micro Matchmaking will continue to run normally, as they are both now under the leadership of the previous Micro Matchmaking Associates Ilidio Ximenes and Brigida Soares.

PDT's Matchmaking and Micro Matchmaking activities are funded by AusAID and Eni.

Wednesday, 20 January 2010

Featured Business - Centro Bambu Timor-Leste

Centro Bambu Timor-Leste (CBTL) was founded in 2009 as a group owned carpentry outfit with the innovative approach of using bamboo as the basic working material. With both financial and human resource assistance from the Ministry of Economy and Development and the United Nations Industrial Development Organization, CBTL was able to twice send members of the group to India to participate in technical training workshops before its official launch. Currently, the team consists of 18 men and 2 women, all Timorese nationals.

The products range from office tables to flower vases, with a wide assortment in between. To view more detailed contact or product information, visit CBTL’s profile on Peace Dividend Trust’s online procurement database.