Robert M. Kimmitt, Deputy Secretary of the US Treasury Department told IMEMC that the Palestinian Investment Conference has met its goal.IMEMC meet Kimmitt during the three days Investment Conference â€“ Bethlehem that concluded on Friday.
‘Our view is that this conference has met its goal, and that is to send a message that there are investment opportunities in the West Bank and in Gaza, that they are here open for investment and that a good foundation has been laid,’ Kimmitt said.
The American official did not hide the fact that the restriction of the movement in the West Bank may endanger potential investments, ‘Clearly investors are looking for a good return on their investment are also going to take a look at what the difficulties are,’
He continued to say; ‘I think a very clear signal has been sent that the Palestinian territories are open to investment. Theyâ€™ve put in a lot of measures on everything from repatriation of dividends, dispute resolution, the kind of things that are important to investors. I think investors are mindful of some of the access and movement issues.’
Regarding the Palestinian Israeli talks Kimmitt told IMEMC; ‘There has been some movement on that front recently on the part of the Israelis in dialogue with the Palestinian Authority. I think that dialogue will continue. We will be engaged in that dialogue. Tony Blair will be engaged in that dialogue. But I think we all have an interest in a revitalized Palestinian economy, and addressing movement and access issues is an important part of that goal.’
According to Kimmitt investments in Gaza is currently difficult due to the political situation there at the time being; but ‘foundation for a future opportunity has been laid, ultimately the investment decision is one left to the investor. I think what the Palestinian Authority has done is made clear theyâ€™re open to investment.’
He concluded by saying ‘I think for some companies thereâ€™ll be very good mid to long-term business opportunities. For others, it might not be the time to invest. But by the way, thatâ€™s true in any location. I think the fact of the matter is youâ€™re going to have more companies taking a closer look at investment in the Palestinian territories as a result both of this conference and of the investment climate thatâ€™s been established by the Palestinian Authority.’