PMA Holds Reception Ceremony in Honor of Japanese Ambassador to Palestine
Ramallah, December 14, 2016 - With the participation of H.E. Governor Azzam Shawwa, the PMA held at the Grand Park Hotel in Ramallah this evening a reception ceremony in honor of H.E. Ambassador of Japan to Palestine Mr. Takeshi Okubo. The ceremony was held in appreciation for the Japanese government’s trust extended to the PMA to design and supervise the implementation the Agro-Industrial Park project in Jericho, which it had launched much earlier. The ceremony was attended by CEO of the Palestinian Industrial Estate and Free Zone Authority (PIEFZA), Dr. Ali Shaath and a host of officials and general managers of different banks. <br>H.E. Governor Shawwa expressed gratitude to Japan for the constant support to the Palestinian people to build a robust economy; in particular through its generous “Corridor for Peace and Prosperity” initiative launched by the Japanese government in 2006. This initiative, he added, displayed Japan’s medium- and long-term endeavors to promote economic and social development in the Jericho and Jordan Valley area. <br>PMA Governor Shawwa added that the generous support of Japan would help boost investment, combat unemployment and harness small and medium industries as it comes in line with the national strategy for sustainable development. <br>H.E. Governor Shawwa expressed his delight with the partnership between the PMA and the Representative Office of Japan in project intended to promote investment and develop the Agro-Industrial Park in Jericho. The implementation of the project would contribute to the creation of job opportunities through fostering private sector growth. He noted that the project was expected to be launched by mid-year, following the finalization of an in-depth study about the tenants in the industrial park. <br>From his side, H.E. the Japanese ambassador noted that the Agro-Industrial Park in Jericho was the leading project of the Japanese initiative aimed to facilitate private sector investment through which economic development of the future State of Palestine can be actualized. He also alluded to the fact that by October 2016, 37 investors had signed rental agreements, while four investors had already established manufacturing sites that were ready to start production.<br>The Japanese ambassador added that the industrial zone project stemmed out of the belief that the Palestinian private sector was capable of acting as the main driver of economic growth given its flexibility; thereby greatly contributing to the generation of much-needed job opportunities. <br>CEO of the Palestinian Industrial Estate and Free Zone Authority (PIEFZA), Dr. Ali Shaath, expressed his gratitude to Japan, government and people alike, for the generous support it offered so far –and continues to offer- in support of the national economy of Palestine. <br>In his speech, the ambassador also alluded to the Japanese support for the Agro-Industrial Park in Jericho through the “Corridor for Peace and Prosperity” initiative which provided USD 95 million worth of aid in various economic and social infrastructure projects that serve the Governorate of Jericho and the Jordan Valley.<br>As for the volume of investment in the Agro-Industrial Park in Jericho, the Japanese ambassador noted that the number of beneficiaries from the partnership in the investment and operation of infrastructure has reached 13 from Jericho city itself. He added that the industrial zone currently houses four factories which have already started production, whilst preparations for the operation of four others are underway and several factories still under construction, noting that agreements have been signed with a total of 40 factories. <br>Moreover, the ambassador commended PMA Governor Shawwa for his continuous support to facilitate bank transactions for investors in industrial zones and opening bank branches of the Bank of Palestine in the industrial zones in Jericho and Gaza and of the Arab Islamic Bank in the industrial zone in Bethlehem. <br>He additionally alluded to the initiatives of Poland in the Governorate of Bethlehem to establish a crafts’ industrial zone and of Korea to establish a techno-park, following the success achieved by Japan in the Agro-Industrial Park project in Jericho.