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IFC Helps Timor-Leste Learn from Malaysia’s Experience in Encouraging Business Start-Ups

Dili, Timor-Leste, July 11, 2012 —IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, is helping policymakers in the Pacific Island nation of Timor-Leste support the growth of local companies by taking them on a study tour to Malaysia this week to learn how business conditions can be improved by drastically reducing the time it takes to register a new business.
Eight government officials from Timor-Leste will visit the Companies Commission of Malaysia, the country’s agency that incorporates companies and registers businesses. They will learn how their Malaysian counterparts were able to replace a manually operated and decentralized business registration system with a modern and fast one-stop-shop, where registering a business takes no more than one hour on average.
“We are planning to start a similar one-stop shop for business registration later this year,” said Maria Fatima de Araujo, Timor-Leste’s National Director of Notary and Registration at the Ministry of Justice. “By visiting our counterparts in Malaysia, we will be able to learn how they developed their system and partner with them for the future development of our one-stop-shop.”
Timor-Leste’s future one-stop shop, to be known as the Service for Registration and Verification of Entrepreneurs or SERVE, will allow entrepreneurs to obtain their business registration, tax identification number and commercial license all at the same place. Customers are currently required to visit three separate ministries to register a business.  
“Locating all the business start-up steps in one place will help save time and money,” said Jose Ricardo Silva, IFC Operations Officer responsible for business entry and business registration reforms. “By making registration easier, we hope to encourage more people to enter into business and hence, create more jobs and services in Timor-Leste.”
Improving the investment climate in Timor-Leste is a priority for IFC. Recent reforms supported by IFC to simplify business registration and licensing processes have seen the number of days it takes to register a company falling from an average of 65 days to 19 days.
About IFC
IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, is the largest global development institution focused exclusively on the private sector. We help developing countries achieve sustainable growth by financing investment, providing advisory services to businesses and governments, and mobilizing capital in the international financial markets. In fiscal 2011, amid economic uncertainty across the globe, we helped our clients create jobs, strengthen environmental performance, and contribute to their local communities—all while driving our investments to an all-time high of nearly $19 billion. For more information, visit www.ifc.org .
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