January 31, 2019
Ramallah – Deputy Governor of Palestine Monetary Authority Dr. Riyad Abu Shehadah participated in the signing of the memorandum of understanding for launching ceremony for Japan's Financial Assistance Scheme for Tenants (JFAST) dedicated to the Jericho Agro-Industrial Park (JAIP). Representative of Japan to Palestine Mr. Takeshi Okubo, Her Excellency Mrs. Abeer Odeh the Minister of National Economy, General Manager of Bank of Palestine Mr. Rushdi Ghalayini, Director General of Palestine Broadcasting Corporation Mr. Khaled Sukar, Director General of International Relations and Projects at the Ministry of Finance and Planning Leila Sbeih, CEO of the Palestinian Industrial Estate and Free Zone Authority (PIEFZA) Dr. Ali A. Shaath, General Manager of New Vision Management Consulting and Training Mr. Adnan Faramand, and economists and bankers attended the signing ceremony.
JFAST aims to support the involvement of the banking sector in industrial development; hence, JFAST pays the interest on loans and loan management fees of loans given to industrial development. Bank loans through JFAST will be 8-year loans at zero interest at and amount of maximum of $750,000. Bank of Palestine will be the national bank in charge of managing the loans given through JFAST.
Dr. Abu Shehadah pointed out in the opening remarks to the important role of industrial development in empowering Palestinian people’s resilience, improving living standards, combating poverty, enhancing the development and social role of production sectors especially the agricultural and industrial sectors.
Dr. Abu Shehadah affirmed that Palestine Monetary Authority largely focused on specialized lending sector as key part to realizing financial inclusion. Palestine Monetary Authority works with the World Bank and the Ministry of National Economy and the Ministry of Finance and Planning as well as lending institutions to prepare the 2019-2023 Strategy for developing the work of this sector and to enable it to realize its developmental role, said Dr. Abu Shehadah. Palestine Monetary Authority also provides the regulatory framework for the banks that operate in Palestine, which contribute to small and medium enterprises mainly in agriculture and industry. Dr. Abu Shehadah added “Palestine Monetary Authority enhances good governance practices in this sector [specialized lending sector] to eventually develop the sector and boost financial and social indicators that reflect on the sector’s capacities to provide access to domestic and external financing resources at the lowest costs. This will improve the financial performance of institutions as well as their capacities to serve marginalized and disadvantaged people in the society. The financing portfolio of lending institutions hit approximately $214 million given to more than 90,000 borrowers in Palestine. The development sectors have 52% of these facilities.”
Deputy Governor thanked the Government of Japan for the constant support to Palestinian people. The Deputy Governor also thanked JFAST partners for their role in its success to achieve sustainable economic development.