The Palestinian banking delegate, headed by His Excellency Mr. Azzam Shawwa, the Governor of Palestine Monetary Authority, holds several meetings with directors of international and Arab banking and monetary organizations during the Annual Meetings of the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank in Bali, Indonesia. The Annual Meetings are held from October 12 to 14, 2018.
Mr. Shawwa briefed the meeting of the Arab central banks governors and monetary organizations with Christine Lagarde, the Managing Director and Chairwoman of the International Monetary Fund, about the work of Palestine Monetary Authority to empower micro, small, and medium-sized enterprises due to their importance in ensuring sustainable economic development and social welfare and for constituting the backbone of the Palestinian economy. Micro, small, and medium-sized enterprises are 95% of the enterprises in Palestine; hence, they are the backbone of the Palestinian economy. The initiatives of PMA secured at least 160% growth in the facilities portfolio of micro, small, and medium-sized enterprises throughout the past three years, according to Mr. Shawwa.
PMA Governor also pointed out to the recent tendency of banks to finance renewable energy projects and green loans following an initiative by PMA in association with thePalestinian Energy and Natural Resources Authority to empower investors in this sector and ease their access to credit sources.
H.E. Mr. Shawwa also briefed the meeting about PMA’s initiatives of economic empowerment of women as part of the financial inclusion strategy, which the Palestinian Council of Ministers approved a few weeks ago and became part of the economic development plan of the Palestinian government. This involved creating SMEs database where data are categorized by gender. This assisted making credit policies at PMA, banking system, and lending institutions, and led to at least 140% growth in the credit facilities of women entrepreneurs.
Mr. Shawwa also addressed the biggest obstacles PMA faced while implementing its fiscal policy of contributing to economic development. These obstacles include the division and the deteriorating political and economic situations in Gaza Strip, the Oslo Accords’ geographic division of the Palestinian Territories into areas A, B, and C. The geographic division hinders banks’ financing of investment projects, and SMEs, due to lack of law enforcement and regulatory land registration.
Mr. Shawwa attended a meeting organized by the Middle East and Central Asia Department of IMF dubbed “Weak Governance and Corruption.” Mr. Shawwa said in his remarks in the meeting that strengthening governance and combating corruption would play decisive role in strong and inclusive growth.
The Palestinian banking delegate met with the Financial Monitoring Unit of Indonesia and explained the efforts of PMA to safeguard the Palestinian economic sectors from abuse through sound policies to combat money laundering and terrorism financing. The parties agreed to continue to cooperate and promote joint efforts to combat terrorism financing and money laundering.
The Palestinian banking delegate accompanying His Excellency Mr. Azzam Shawwa includes Mr. Mohammad Manasrah, Director of Supervision and Inspection Department; Mr. Issa Kassis, Governor Advisor for Strategic Planning and International Relations; Mrs. Rola Ma’louf, the Head of Governor’s Office, and Mr. Wael Lafi, the Financial Follow-Up Unit Director.