2020/05/26 at 12:13 مساءً

Speech of the Minister of National Economy at the Union for the Mediterranean Forum on Creativity

 

Excellencies,

Distinguished guests,

Ladies and Gentlemen,

Creativity in Palestine

Creativity in Palestine is considered as a tool and a result of resilience, it is our way to challenge constrains, obstacles, discriminative policies imposed by the Israeli occupation to de develop our economy.

The creativity of the private sector has resulted in coming up with innovative ways to stay resilient, grow, and compete in the local, regional and international markets.

Innovation plays a very important role in the private sector in terms of competitiveness, and is critical to the success of private businesses. Innovation and creativity help firms to find ways to cut costs, improve products and open new markets. This has also been reflected on the public sector where service delivery was optimized.

I am not claiming that the service delivery is at its best; however, our institutions provide decent services to the public in order for people and firms to stay resilient. This has resulted in more collaborative efforts between the public and private entities, thereby creating better effective public and private services and products.

Collaboration helps to bring a broader set of skills, talents and a more responsive work culture into public sector organizations, along with innovative thinking and creativity; it also helps private companies to innovate more effectively and to achieve their concrete goals in a more efficient way.

For example; collaboration in the industrial zones where the government provide incentives and developed infrastructure has led to encourage the private sector to innovate.

And herein, I will provide Palolea as a successful example;

This factory was a startup and the first to start at the Jericho Agro Industrial Park. Its first product Paloleaf was the first product that was manufactured at JAIP.

Only two years after that product was released, it won the “Most innovative product” award for 2019 at the Malaysia International Halal Showcase (MIHAS).

Paloleaf won itself such a global prestige because it is quite simply the world’s very first all-natural supplement for diabetes. This achievement that was made in such record time is due to the incredible highly talented and specialized team of researchers, scientists, chemists, engineers, pharmacists, along with state of the art laboratories, manufacturing lines, and above all an appetite for innovation that drives Palolea.

This an example of many industries that used to be traditional and became innovative through proven market presence such as the stone industries.

On the other hand,

 

Creative industry preserve important aspects of Palestinian heritage and contribute to strengthening and stabilizing the Palestinian economy. The Palestinian cultural and creative industry has always had an important standing among the various domestic industries, in part due to its role in propagating the history and culture of the Palestinian people.

The Palestinian economy composes of more than 98% of the MSMEs. Accordingly,  The state of Palestine embed the concept of clusters – a proven methodology for the increased competitiveness of Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) within a given value chain which could represent a tremendous opportunity for inclusive and sustainable industrial development and job creation in Palestine. It also contributes to inclusive growth by fostering entrepreneurial cooperation in cultural and creative industries.

The main objective of the cluster approach is to:

  • Develop and present NEW COLLECTIONS (Product Development).
  • INCREASE SALES in international markets and Identification of new business opportunities in the CONTRACT SECTOR (Market Diversification).
  • Increase cooperation between Cluster members by leading a JOINT EXPORT ACTIVITY (Cluster Development)

The Bethlehem Treasures Cluster (BTC) and the Furniture Cluster in Nablus (NFC), FOOTWARE Value Chain in Hebron, were selected as pilot initiatives for the government approach, which will be extended to develop industrial cluster on the national level.

Nablus Furniture Cluster (NFC)

Founded in 2015, it gathers over 25 companies – with more than 200 active employees – that are located in the furniture hub of Nablus.  This industries include:

  • Wooden furniture
  • Upholstery
  • Kitchen
  • Contract sector
  • Custom made solutions

The result achieved through this cluster:

NFC Company signed a business agreement targeting commercial and industrial cooperation with a leading furniture and decoration group in Amman.

Creative Palestine organized a permanent gallery of the NFC’s collections which implemented in Amman in the showrooms of Istatieh Group, the Cluster’s regional distribution partner.

Business Development

  • Development of business opportunities and realization of business CONTRACT for the NFC and its members in LOCAL MARKET
  • NFC represented by the Nablus Chamber of Commerce and Industry signed an AGREEMENT TO SUPPLY CREATIVE FURNITURE FOR KHAN AL WAKALEH in the old city of Nablus and NABI MUSA in Jericho (total value of €350K – over 1.2 million ILS)
  • BIDDING PROCESS targeted cluster members while encouraging a COLLECTIVE proposal assisted by the CREATIVE DESIGN HUB – Palestine

 

BETHLEHEM TREASURES CLUSTER

Founded in 2015, the BTC gathers 30 producers – 75% craftswomen entrepreneurs – of handicraft, decorations and souvenirs that work and live in the area of Bethlehem.

With approximately 1,000 workers, the Cluster in Bethlehem is among the main employers in the region and is widely employing women, particularly in ceramics, pottery, jewellery and embroidery. This industries include:

  • OLIVE WOOD
  • MOTHER OF PEARL
  • JEWELLERY
  • CERAMICS

Result

Final statement

Still. Much needs to be done to develop the creative industry, which is an important component of the cultural and economic survival of the Palestinian people. The legislative reform is a must, and this what we are currently doing; the companies’ law, the IPR law are under revising. Moreover, each ministry realizes its role to encourage entrepreneur and facilitate the procedures, Incentives were allocated to attract the younger generation and encourage them especially in the IT sector.

But, the financial resources are a massive challenge for my government, especially within the latest Israeli violation regarding withholding the Palestinian tax revenue, but as I have mentioned, we are resilient and determined to enhance the performance of our economy.

We believe that Industry sustainability can only be achieved through a strong link and cooperation between local communities and the public and private sector.

Also, facilitating training and skill development, improving the quality to meet the international standards, participating at exhibitions and marketing are vital components required for the success of the culture and creative industries.

We are currently working with UNIDO on Palestine Cluster and Creative Industry Policy Development, Focusing on building national human & institutional capacity through stakeholders training/coaching, SMEs development and upgrading, policy advise, market access, linkages, and access to finance.

Palestinian government continues its support to enhance the ecosystem and boost creativity and innovation.

This requires collaboration and networking among countries of the region on both, Private and Public partners.

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