Business & Economy

War-torn Palestinian economy needs to bridge relief and development, says UNCTAD report

Protracted occupation and conflict have effectively transformed the occupied Palestinian territory into a “war-torn economy”, with serious implications for Palestinian development prospects, says the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) in a new report. The report, issued annually on UNCTAD’s assistance to the Palestinian people, calls for a new policy framework to bridge relief and development efforts. 

UNCTAD's assistance to the Palestinian people

By 2003, three years of continuous economic decline and widespread devastation had transformed the occupied Palestinian territory into a “war-torn economy”. The economic legacies of war identified in comparative research on conflict economies are relevant in recognizing the true nature of the Palestinian economic predicament: structural deterioration and sustained negative growth; declining export capacity and emergence of an unsustainable trade gap; and greater external dependence and extended poverty. 

On settlement trade, Europe doesn't stand tall

Various EU members have taken differing positions on settlement trade, but the consensual mode of EU foreign policymaking has allowed the lowest common denominator position to prevail. Despite escalating controversy over the settlement trade dating back to 1998, and calls in 2002 by the European Parliament to suspend free trade with Israel outright, the EU’s executive tier has so far stymied any action. What is more, over the past five years, this inaction has gradually shaded into active intervention to forestall, and ultimately render near impossible, future remedies. 

Restrictions on defense sales to Israel deal hard blow to UK exporters

Defense industry exporters in the UK have reported significant losses due to a government policy to restrict the sale of military equipment to Israel. British defense exports to the Jewish state dropped from 22 million British pounds ($35.7 million) to GBP10 million over the past year, reported Guardian. Britain imposed a de facto arms embargo on Israel last year, applying to military equipment that could be used in Israel’s continuing operations in the Palestinian territories. Each application must be examined on a case-by-case basis. 

UN-backed meeting to prepare for Arab forum on Palestine rehabilitation

United Nations agencies have teamed up to organize a preparatory meeting for an international forum next year that would aim to keep the social and economic issues and needs in the occupied Palestinian territories on the agenda of the international community, in spite of the lack of stability in the region. The two-day consultative meeting, which begins tomorrow in Beirut, will serve to provide input to the Arab-International Forum on “Palestine Rehabilitation and Development” next year. 

European Commission takes action with EUR 100 million to improve conditions and accelerate relaunch of the Palestinian economy

Following the recent positive developments in the Palestinian Territories and the withdrawal of IDF forces from parts of the Gaza Strip and Bethlehem, the European Commission is urgently delivering a €100 million package of financial assistance to support the implementation of the Road Map for Peace. 

Seminar on Assistance to Palestinian people holds panel on coping strategies for Palestinian economy

A United Nations Seminar on Assistance to the Palestinian People this morning held a panel discussion on the theme “Looking Ahead: Coping Strategies for the Palestinian Economy”. Experts addressing the Seminar spoke about the Palestinian perspective of the economic recovery, prospects for a longer-term economic development, the economy of an independent Palestinian State, and of donor strategies and assistance coordination.