European and Palestinian companies inked on Wednesday five investment and financing agreements worth over 80 million euros.
This came on the sidelines of the first EU-Palestinian Business Forum, which was held in Ramallah and attended by Palestinian Prime Minister Mohammad Shtayyeh, Palestinian and European officials, and representatives of banks, financial institutions, and businessmen from both sides.
According to an official statement, the Palestinian government and the EU signed a financing agreement worth 30.5 million euros to enhance growth by supporting private sector projects in various fields, provided that the two sides set conditions to benefit from these projects by early 2023.
The EU and the European Bank for Development and Reconstruction also signed a financing agreement worth 23 million euros, including 20 million euros in a loan portfolio and 3 million euros in the form of loan guarantees.
The third agreement is between Proparco, a French Development Finance Institution, and the Palestinian Microfinance Company “Faten,” which is a credit (re-lending) at a value of 8 million euros, in addition to 1.25 million euros in loan guarantees.
The fourth is a financing agreement between the Netherlands Development Bank (FMO) and Vitas and is worth 10 million euros.
The fifth agreement was signed between the Italian Cooperation Agency, AICS, and the Palestinian Fund for Employment, with a value of 2.9 million euros that will be allocated to finance startups and will be followed by agreements with a number of lending institutions.
Shtayyeh said the forum represents a “unique opportunity that reflects the spirit of partnership.”
He expressed appreciation to the European Commission and the EU countries for their commitment to supporting the Palestinian economy as part of their support for the establishment of an independent Palestinian state with Jerusalem as its capital.
Since swearing in the Palestinian government in 2019, it has sensed the spirit of cooperation and partnership with the EU, the German News Agency dpa quoted Shtayyeh as saying.
He affirmed that investment in Palestine is possible despite the conditions resulting from the occupation.
“We have a regulatory and encouraging legislative framework, such as the Investment Promotion Law, the Companies Law, the Communications Law, and all the necessary regulations to encourage investment.”
Deputy Director-General and Acting Director-General of the Directorate-General for European Neighborhood Policy and Enlargement Negotiations Maciej Popowski considered the forum a special event in which Palestinian and European business leaders and policy makers meet to promote a better business environment.
The forum serves the EU’s goal of supporting the Palestinian government’s efforts to develop the economy, expand the role of banks, and strengthen partnership between the public and private sectors, said the EU Representative to the West Bank and Gaza, Sven Kühn von Burgsdorff.