Thursday, February 14, 2013
UNDP promotes Free Zones in Palestine Territories
The Palestinian Industrial Estate and Free Zone Authority and the United Nations Development
Programme sign an Exchange of Letters funded by the Government of Japan
Ramallah – 07 February 2013 - The Palestinian Industrial Estate and Free Zone Authority (PIEFZA) and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), in the presence of the Representative Office of Japan to the Palestinian Authority, signed an exchange of letters worth USD 1,487,532 to establish an administration building for the Jericho Agro-Industrial Park.
The project is part of the Government of Japan’s “corridor for peace and prosperity” initiative in the Jordan Valley which aims to establish a viable state for Palestinians accompanied with sustainable economic development through the strengthening of their partnership with neighbouring countries. The establishment of a sustainable administration facility for the JAIP will enhance access to effective social, economic and public services and utilities.
The United Nations Development Programme / Programme of Assistance to the Palestinian People will work in close cooperation and partnership with its Palestinian counterparts, in particular the Municipality of Jericho and PIEFZA on all aspects of the project, noting that the administration building will become the home for PIEFZA operations that will serve the Industrial Park stakeholders.
On behalf of PIEFZA, the Minister of National Economy, H.E. Dr. Jawad Naji highlighted that “the Ministry is currently working on developing a comprehensive strategy for the Palestinian industrial zones which includes incentives, marketing elements and other commercial activities that shall form an enabling environment for investment”. The Minister also expressed his appreciation to the government and people of Japan for the generous fund and the United Nations Development Programme for their continued support to the Palestinian people.
The PIEFZA administration building will have an approximate total space area of 1,000 square metres (one dunum), in addition to the excavation and levelling works for four dunums to be used for the administration building and its services. Approximately 7,600 workdays will be generated as a result of the project, thus providing short term employment opportunities for the residents of Jericho and the Jordan Valley.
“JAIP has greatly progressed recently. I sincerely hope JAIP will contribute to creating the foundation for a Palestinian State and bring peace and prosperity to Jericho and the Jordan valley” stated the Ambassador for Palestinian Affairs and the Representative of Japan to the Palestinian Authority, H.E. Mr. Junya Matsuura. “The Government of Japan has extended its official development assistance for more than USD 50 million for Jericho and JAIP only, and USD 1.3 billion in total for the State of Palestine. We will continue to support the establishment of a viable independent Palestinian state,” he added.
“This industrial park supports the opportunities for the private sector in Jericho and the Jordan Valley” said Frode Mauring, UNDP Special Representative of the Administrator. “Without a vibrant private sector there is no future for a sustainable Palestinian economy” he added.
The signing ceremony was held on Thursday February 7th, 2013 in the presence of H.E. Dr. Jawad Naji, Minister of National Economy, H.E. Junya Matsuura, Ambassador for Palestinian Affairs and Representative of Japan to the Palestinian Authority, Frode Mauring, UNDP Special Representative of the Administrator and Eng. Abdelrahman Shtayeh, the Acting Director-General of PIEFZA.
It is worth mentioning that this is the fourth phase of the JAIP project, funded by the Government of Japan. The prior three phases which included the rehabilitation works for 1.8 km connecting road, excavation and levelling works for 115 dunums, construction of a 2.15 km water transport line and a 1.5 km 4” pipeline, in addition to the construction of a 500 cubic metres water tank, were already completed and handed over.
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