2021/12/02 at 7:14 صباحًا

Al-Osailiy calls on donors to support the government’s efforts to improve the national economy

Dear Sebastian and colleagues at the World Bank
Our distinguished partners form the donor community
Our Palestinian Private Sector Partners
Esteemed Ladies and Gentlemen
Good morning to you all,

It is my pleasure having you all with us for the second Private Sector working Group meeting this year. We are continuing our efforts, meeting to exchange and elaborate our common means to tackle the challenges and build for success and sustainability.
We have conducted earlier this year our first meeting under the strict measures for protection against the spread of COVID-19. Unfortunately and despite the world efforts and all great progress achieved so far with the help of science and innovation, we are still facing risks of the virus and the pandemic remains. Some of us are here in the room with required measures in place and some are joining us virtually to ensure a conclusive discussion and agreement for next steps.

Gathered here together, we are happy to bring to you all to discuss and plan the core subject of this group:

My colleagues at the Ministry and our core partners, are pleased to present the achievements during the past period, as well as the priorities, challenges and support required for developing the Palestinian private sector.

Addressing our priorities and advancing towards their achievement require your engagement, cooperation, and partnership. This demands the consolidation of all our efforts together to achieve our updated strategic plan and objectives in a manner that ensures the creation of an appropriate and attractive enabling business environment given the challenges imposed by the political atmosphere that prevails.

At the government, we are committed to mitigate the consequences of the pandemic on the governmental level and in direct coordination with the private sector, civil society and the international community. Everyone has a role to play during this pandemic, and all have contributed effectively to the government efforts in this direction.

In this occasion, I take the opportunity to express my gratitude to you all and especially; the world bank through different projects, the EU as well through the European Investment and Development Banks, the Canadian, the French, the German, Japan, and the UN Agencies and especially the UNIDO for all of your support and ongoing partnerships.

Dear partners,

In addition to the Corona pandemic, Gaza Strip was again hit and attacked by Israeli aggression during May 2021. On top of the continued Israeli illegal blockade, the unprecedented 48 percent of unemployment rate, exceeding 50 percent poverty rate; and approximately 80 percent of Palestinian households dependent on social assistance, and the miserable socio-economic conditions, Gaza Strip has seen additional massive destruction of infrastructure and private sector facilities among many other sectors. This has further worsened and burdened the Palestinian economy while attempting to recover and resume activities towards sustainability.

Together, with you Sebastian and the world Bank team together with the ministry team, we moved promptly in order to support the collection of the required data and information to assess the damage and plan for responsive interventions to support our people in the Gaza Strip.
The World Bank Group, the United Nations and the European Union have launched together a Rapid Damage and Needs Assessment. The assessment provided early estimates and an overall picture of the damages and needs of the population, physical assets, and infrastructure.

Based on the findings of the RDNA, the damages are estimated between US$ 290 – 380 million and Economic losses amount to between US$ 105 – 190 million. While the immediate and short-term recovery and reconstruction needs (during the first 24 months) are estimated between US$ 345 – 485 million.

Our European Development Partners (EDPs) are preparing a single joint strategic plan with specific indicators and results to monitor the performance to support the Palestinian economy. We encourage all our partner donors to follow suit, as we will always seek for a joint and coordinated effort for a unified approach through a single strategic plan based on the government plans and priorities to achieve the desired results, with full cooperation and avoiding duplication or uncalled for overlapping. This is believed to maximize our great efforts and results to cover all our targeted localities especially in Jerusalem and Gaza Strip.

The needs are tremendous, and our resources are limited given all the political and social challenges we have. Your support to Gaza Strip and commitment to re develop our economy in Gaza strip is directly responding to our strategic response and is much appreciated. The Palestinian government is committed toward our people in the Gaza Strip.

The ministry has taken several rapid and immediate interventions in cooperation with our partners such as;
1) Providing grants for the IT and Tech Enable sector form the IPSD project funded by the World Bank,
2) Providing grants for the agricultural product from Tasdeer project funded by the FCDO in addition to exporting companies in the IT, and light manufacture,
3) Launching the KHIATN Gaza Fashion Design Center providing technical assistance and access to sustainable energy implemented by UNIDO and funded by Japan
4) Supporting the Gaza industrial state by the EU, as well as UNIDO MOUSTADAMA program for sustainable energy. The GIZ and the Canadian support as well…

Distinguished Ladies and gentlemen,

Indeed; I consider myself optimistic. The challenges reshaped us, and our way of thinking to find ways of communication, and behaviors. It opens doors for new ideas and tools. Now we are talking about new techniques, models, instruments and new tools.
These changes put us under a huge challenge for building back better, transforming the challenge into an opportunity to adopt new policies, upgrading laws and regulation and restructuring our outdated infrastructure.

The Ministry of National Economy is committed to improve the Business and Investment Enabling Environment. In this context, the reform agenda includes several items ranging from laws awaiting for the president’s final review and approval such as; the companies’ law and competition law, to laws under consultation such as; Customs Law, VAT law and Income Tax Law among other laws covering all cross cutting economic activities.

The Ministry has developed a list of priority for several initiatives composed of updating the Export strategy, Developing the industrial policy, and institutionalize the commercial attaches at the ministry of national economy.

Recently, the MSMEs definition was approved, and we are currently surveying the home-based businesses to support these segments and encourage its formalization. In this regard, we are looking for strong engagement form the donor community to develop needed strategy to flourish this sector.

Moreover, the Industrial zone and investment promotion agency have been merged as one of the latest reforms embarked upon by the government. At this forum you will be updated regarding the legal and structure requirements by the new agency IPIEA. We are looking for your commitment to support this reform.

At last, our efforts are continuous, but we continue to be hampered by the Israeli restrictions and impediment which impacted our business environment as well as our trade with the region and the international.

The Joint Economic Committee JEC should be the legal platform to discuss and to agree on all trade and economic issues with Israel. However, Israel is not responding nor cooperating. The main request to donor community was addressed to reactivate the JEC. Previous requests from MoNE to reactivate the JEC with specific agenda was requested via donor community.

Currently, our efforts to facilitate trade via the exclusive road with Japan’s support is still ongoing, and we are eager to develop this road with your support and commitment to facilitate the Palestinian trade.

Our agenda is full today, and I believe my team and partners will cover all the mentioned areas and will present all the interventions, achievements that were made giving the limited resources.

Thank you

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