Americans for a Vibrant Palestinian Economy
Our Vision: Americans & Palestinians Freely Doing Business Together
Our Mission: Creating Business Relationships Between Americans & Palestinians
The Palestine Exchange (PEX) was established in 1995 to promote investment in Palestine as a private shareholding company. PEX became a public shareholding company in February 2010. As of January 31, 2015, PEX has 48 listed companies with market capitalization of about $3,128 billion. Most of the listed companies are profitable and trade in Jordanian Dinar, while others trade in US Dollars. In September 2016 Palestine Gets FTSE Frontier Market Status for First Time as announced by Bloomberg.
The Portland Trust is a British non-profit "action tank" whose mission is to promote peace and stability between Israelis and Palestinians through economic development. This organization works with a range of partners to help develop the Palestinian private sector and relieve poverty through entrepreneurship in Israel. The Portland Trust is based on the principle that the development of a thriving and sustainable Palestinian economy is a necessary condition for peace, and that the Israeli and Palestinian private sectors can be powerful forces for stability and moderation.
UNSCO publishes quarterly economic reports (Arabic and English) on the Palestinian economy as well as other reports associated with Palestinian economic life. The office of UNSCO was established in June 1994, its mandate was enhanced in 1999, since 2002 has been the Secretary-General’s envoy in the Middle East Quartet and in 2006 a Deputy Special Coordinator, Humanitarian and Resident Coordinator was appointed to lead the 21 UN organizations that provide humanitarian and development assistance to Palestinians. Structured to respond in a rapid, effective and coordinated manner to requests by the parties, the office is mandated to assist in all issues related to the humanitarian situation and development challenges facing the Palestinian people.
Under the impact of yet another year of prolonged occupation, 2013 proved to be one more year of lost Palestinian development. The economy continued to lose ground, and the slowdown that was had been witnessed in 2012 worsened in 2013. As a result, real per capita income in the Occupied Palestinian Territory declined, and unemployment, poverty and food insecurity worsened. Palestinian women continued to bear the brunt of occupation, which has condemned them to one of the lowest rates of labour market participation and the highest unemployment rate in the world. The Israeli occupation of Area C deprives the economy of the Occupied Palestinian Territory of much of its natural resource base and costs at the very least one third of its gross domestic product (GDP) every year. Despite difficult field conditions and limited resources, UNCTAD continues to respond to the complex needs of the Palestinian economy. However, securing extra budgetary resources remains critical for enhancing the support of the secretariat to the Palestinian people.
This Investment Climate Assessment (ICA) seeks to evaluate the conditions under which the Palestinian private sector currently operates in the West Bank (including East Jerusalem) and the Gaza Strip. The context in which this Assessment is made is one of a complex and fragmented political and geographic environment embodied in the continuation of the Israeli military presence in the West Bank since 1967, the stalled implementation of the 1993 Oslo Accords, the relative isolation of East Jerusalem from the remainder of the West Bank, the construction of the Separation Barrier since 2009, and the de facto split in Palestinian governance between the West Bank and the Gaza Strip since 2007.
The Palestinian economy faces a number of challenges. Restrictions resulting from the political situation continue to be the most significant impediment to economic growth. Uncertainty and lack of hope in progress, together with internal constraints, have also contributed to economic stagnation. Although it is true that the economy has grown between 2006 and 2011, this has been significantly driven by inflows of aid from the international donor community, and is therefore unsustainable in the long-term.
In May, 2013 at the Dead Sea World Economic Forum in Jordan, US Secretary of State John Kerry emphasized the critical importance of a robust and growing Palestinian economy for the Middle East Peace Process. ‘As long as prospects for economic advancement remain weak, so do the prospects for peace and stability,’ stated Secretary Kerry. He also stressed that economic progress alone could not serve as a substitute for political progress in Palestinian-Israeli peacemaking.