Palestinian Minister of Economy Mazen Sinoqrot said today that the Palestinian Authority is seeking to attract foreign investments worth $7 billion.
In a press conference in Ramallah, Sinoqrot announced the official start of preparations for the International Investments Conference in the Palestinian territories, scheduled to be held in Gaza and Bethlehem from April 9-11 of next year. He said the PA and a group of major Palestinian corporations are putting together a package of projects to be presented to around 600 Palestinian, Arab and foreign investors and businesspeople expected to attend the conference.
“We are seeking to present a project package worth $7 million including strategic projects that will contribute to defining the international characteristics of the future Palestinian state,” Sinoqrot said.
The minister then spoke about three initiatives to be launched by the PA during the conference aimed at encouraging investors including starting an investments guarantee fund against political risks with a capital of $250 million in partnership with the Palestinian Investment Fund, OPEC, the World Bank, the German Development Bank and the European Investment Bank.
Sinoqrot also said the PA would launch another initiative for state and Waqf lands. He said these would be offered to investors for leasing at special prices or for owning through auctions as part of strategic projects in sectors such as housing, tourism, agricultural and industrial zones.
He continued that the conference would also see the announcement of the privatization of a number of PA commercial activities such as the cement and oil trade and the administration of the seaport, airport and crossings.
Sinoqrot said the idea of the conference was proposed during the last meeting of the international economic forum at the Dead Sea by PADECO, the largest investment group in the West Bank and Gaza Strip. The idea was then adopted by the Palestinian government and by the Davos Economic Forum.
He said the PA received official letters from Quartet committee Middle East envoy James Wolfehnson, the World Bank, the EU and the United States in which they confirmed their partnership with the PA in the conference