Private Sector Development
Why is Palestinian private sector development important?
Broad-based economic growth and job creation in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip depends on a combination of factors including continuous private sector expansion, sustained reform measures by the Palestinian Authority (PA), timely donor assistance and further Israeli measures to ease movement and access restrictions. One of the most critical factors for growing the Palestinian economy and generating new jobs, particularly for young adults entering the labor market, is the accelerated development of the Palestinian private sector. This private sector consists of a large number of small-to-medium enterprises and businesses with significant growth potential in a few key sectors including tourism, stone and marble, information and communication technology (ICT) and agriculture.
How does the OQR support Palestinian private sector development?
The OQR promotes Palestinian private sector development through four channels: i) supporting strategic business clusters; ii) improving the investment and business climate in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip; iii) supporting large iconic economic projects and iv) promoting improvements in the Palestinian labor market.
- Supporting Strategic Business Clusters – The OQR works to catalyze improvements in strategic business clusters such as tourism, stone and marble, ICT and agriculture. The work aims to help these business clusters in attracting new investment, developing new products and accessing new markets.
- Improving the Investment and Business Climate – The OQR is working with the Palestinian Authority in developing legislation to improve the investment and business climate in the West Bank and Gaza Strip. Part of this work will support the eventual accession of the PNA as a member into the World Trade Organization (WTO).
- Supporting Large Iconic Economic Projects – The OQR supports the implementation of large iconic economic projects in view of their importance for job creation and overall investor confidence. These economic projects consist of the establishment of large-scale industrial parks, housing developments, and investments in the telecommunication sector.
- Promoting improvements in the Palestinian Labor Market – The OQR works actively to secure greater access for Palestinian workers to enter the Israeli labor market, particularly those workers employable in the construction and agricultural sectors. The OQR also promotes greater labor mobility for skilled Palestinian workers between the PA, Israel and regional labor markets.
OQR achievements in supporting Palestinian private sector development
- Telecommunication Sector - OQR enabled a massive investment in the telecommunication sector by helping to facilitate the launch of the second mobile phone operator in the West Bank in 2009. The investment is expected to contribute up to USD 700 million to the Palestinian economy over a ten year period.
- Housing Sector - Assisting in securing essential financing for the launch of a USD 500 million affordable mortgage and lending facility in the West Bank in 2010.
- Labor Market - Securing an additional 10,000 permits for Palestinian works in Israel bringing the total number of work permits for Palestinian workers to approximately 44, 500 in 2012 (from a baseline of 34,300 in 2010).