East Timor

East Timor

News: East Timor, also known as Timor Leste, holds the second and final round of its presidential election on Tuesday.

• The territory was colonized by Portugal in the 18th century and remained under is control until 1975. When the Portuguese withdrew, troops from Indonesia invaded and annexed East Timor as its 27th province.
• The East Timorese voted for independence in a 1999 U.N.-supervised referendum, but that unleashed even more violence until peace-keeping forces were allowed to enter. The country was officially recognized by the United Nations in 2002.

Geography and Economy:
• East Timor comprises the eastern half of Timor Island, the western half of which is part of Indonesia.
• It spans a 15,000 square km (5,792 square mile) land area – slightly smaller than Israel – and it’s 1.3 million people are predominantly Roman Catholic.
• East Timor depends on revenues from its offshore oil and gas reserves which account for 90% of its gross domestic product.
• Its main revenue stream, the BayuUndan gas field, is set to dry up by 2023 and the country is now planning to collaborate with companies like Australia’s Santos to turn it into carbon capture facilities.  

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