3 updates on the Palestinian economy

Three pieces of news have been released recently on the Palestinian economy.

The most encouraging comes from the International Monetary Fund (IMF). Real economic growth (GDP) is expected to rise by 9% in 2009. When you compare that to Israel (around -1.0% or less) and to the UK (at -2.5%), that is remarkable.

This change is promoted by:

  • The removal of many Israel security restrictions, resulting from  a decline in Palestinian violence.
  • Increased trade between Israel and the Palestinian sector – not just in goods, but also in high tech.

Still lacking is a more open, transparent regulatory financial system. This has yet to be implemented by the Palestinian Authority (PA), despite repeated annual demands of the IMF.

The report had been preceded by the announcement of the World Bank, which intends to contribute an additional US$33.5m to Palestinians in Gaza. The money will be directed primarily towards infrastructure projects. An agreement was signed with the PA’s Prime Minister, an internationally respected economist.

There is no issue over whether the money is needed. What hangs over the investment like a bad smell is the question of transparency.

The PA has no representation in Gaza, which is under the authoritarian control of Hamas. Who can guarantee that the money, effectively given by Western taxpayers, will be used properly and not diverted as has happened in the past? This remain a cause for great concern, yet to be broached by scared politicians.

 As if to emphasise the point, a third piece of news was revealed. The President and Foreign Minister of Greece have unwittingly been part of scam to raise money for a hospital in Gaza. The contributions totalled over US$1.5m.

Problem no’ 1: No such hospital existed. Problem no 2: Nobody can trace the money.

Explore posts in the same categories: Business, Israel, Palestinians

Tags: , , , ,

You can comment below, or link to this permanent URL from your own site.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: