Palestinian Ministers and senior officials have expressed appreciation for UNCTAD's role in supporting the development of the Palestinian economy through its technical cooperation projects that aim at building capacities and helping to overcome the persistent challenges.
During a five-day mission to the Occupied Palestinian Territory (OPT) last week, UNCTAD Assistance to the Palestinian People Unit (APPU) coordinator, Mahmoud Elkhafif, and Economic Affairs Officer, Randa Jamal, held several meetings to follow-up on technical cooperation projects that UNCTAD implements and oversees.
Amongst the meetings, UNCTAD's delegation met with the Palestinian Minister of National Economy, Dr. Jawad Naji, and Minister of Finance, Dr. Nabil Kassis, in Ramallah.
UNCTAD APPU delegation during a meeting with the Palestinian Ministry of National Economy
During the meeting with the Minister of National Economy, the two sides discussed the international economic crisis and its impact on the Palestinian people given the peculiar context and the various dimensions that currently impede the Palestinian economy. Additional possible areas of cooperation were also discussed, including relevant economic research and specialized advisory services on trade, investment promotion, and development strategies.
The Minister praised UNCTAD's role in supporting the development of the Palestinian economy. The Minister made mention of the UNCTAD Trade Facilitation Project that aims at building the capacities of the Palestinian private sector, particularly shippers (exporters and importers).
Similarly, the Minister of Finance commended UNCTAD for the achievements that have been made during years of cooperation, particularly in implementing the Customs modernization programme (ASYCUDA) aimed at building Palestinian customs capacities to bring them on par with those in advanced economies.
Discussions were also held on potential areas of future cooperation, such as the Debt Management and Financial Analysis System (DMFAS) programme.
The delegation emphasized that UNCTAD continues to be ready to provide advisory services in drawing up economic development strategies, specifically those related to trade facilitation and policy making, in close cooperation with both the Palestinian Authority and the private sector.