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Source: Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia (ESCWA)
1 September 2004

Arab Private Sector to Support Palestinian Economy

Beirut, 1 September 2004 (United Nations Information Service)-- A workshop to discuss effective means for the Arab private sector to support its Palestinian counterpart will be held in Jordan, 4-5 September 2004.

The "Workshop on Palestinian-Arab Private Sector Partnership," which aims to enhance economic trade relations, will also identify the role of the Arab private sector in facilitating the access of Palestinian products into Arab markets.

Under the current political and security conditions, the Palestinian private sector is burdened with constraints on their ability to compete in local and export markets, especially in light of the fast rate of international trade developments. More particularly, the Palestinian private sector suffers from increased losses in the local market share, decreased productive capacity and profitability, problems with financial liquidity and a rise in the cost of production and transportation.

These problems are aggravated by the fact that Palestinian products also face difficulties in entering several Arab markets. Thus, Arab support is crucial in assisting the Palestinian economy to integrate in the wider Arab economy.

The workshop, jointly organized by the Palestinian Trade Centre (Paltrade), the Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia (ESCWA) and the Islamic Development Bank (IDB), will bring together more than 80 participants, including key Palestinian and Arab business leaders and representatives from private sector institutions as well as Palestinian and Arab decision and policy makers.

The outcome of this workshop, which will be held in the Dead Sea, will be presented at the “Arab-International Forum on Rehabilitation and Development in the Occupied Palestinian Territory: Towards an Independent State” to be held in Beirut, 11-14 October 2004. The Forum, organised by ESCWA, the League of Arab States and the Palestinian Authority, aims to enhance mechanisms for forging partnerships between Arab and Palestinian entities on several levels, thereby assisting the Palestinian people to overcome the repercussions of the occupation as well as to address future challenges.

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