Dr. Abu Libdeh briefed Mr. Craig on progress in organizing the conference and expected international and Arab participation, and discussed the World Bank’s role in the conference. Mr. Craig stated that senior World Bank managers and technical experts were expected to participate in the conference, along with colleagues from its sister organizations in the World Bank Group, the International Finance Corporation (IFC) and Multilateral Investment Guarantee Association (MIGA).
Mr. Craig said: “The World Bank believes that the private sector is the necessary engine to drive sustainable economic growth in the West Bank and Gaza. This is an important conference with potential to create momentum for change and attract foreign investment. World Bank analysis has shown the investment climate in the West Bank and Gaza to be less bureaucratic and more transparent than other countries in the region. If matched with the lifting of movement and access restrictions, the growth potential of the Palestinian economy would be substantial. Therefore, we hope this timely conference will provide potential investors with a first-hand view of the investment potential in the Palestinian Territories, and allow them to both mobilize and benefit from the opportunities here.”