Timor-Leste is Australia’s 84th largest trading partner. The COVID-19 pandemic disrupted bilateral trade in 2020; although total goods and services trade amounted to $266 million in 2019-20, up from $181 million in 2018-19. Exports are dominated by services and sales of civil engineering equipment, motor vehicles, trailers, aircraft and associated parts. Imports are mostly made up of services—predominantly Australian travel to Timor-Leste.
Australian services exports to Timor-Leste consist mostly of education and travel. The COVID-19 pandemic and associated international travel restrictions disproportionately hurt services trade in 2020. Ongoing international travel restrictions points to another challenging year for services exports in 2021.
Timor-Leste constitutes a small share of Australian investment abroad. In 2020, Australian investment stocks amounted to almost $17 billion (0.6% of Australia’s total investment portfolio), likely related to investment in Timor-Leste’s oil and gas sector. Timor-Leste investment in Australia is very small.