On Behalf of the Prime Minister, Governor of PMA Participates in the opening of the EIB office in Palestine and Signs a Loan Agreement of $USD192 Million to Esitmada Fund
Ramallah & Al Bireh: 15/5/2022
On behalf of the Prime Minister, The Governor of PMA, Dr. Feras Milhem, participated in the opening of the first office of the European Investment Bank in Palestine, in the presence of President of the European Investment Bank Mr. Werner Hoyer, Vice President of the European Investment Bank, Ms. Gelsomina Vigliotti, EU Representative in the Palestinian Territories, Mr. Sven Kun von Borgesdorf, President’s Advisor for Economic Affairs Dr. Mohammed Mustafa, His Excellency the Minister of National Economy, Mr. Khaled Al-Assili, European Ambassadors and Consuls, representatives of the private sector, businessmen and members of the Chambers of Commerce, Commercial bank officials and specialized lending institutions
Governor Milhem and Ms. Gilsomina Vigliotti, Vice President of the European Investment Bank, also signed the final agreement on a $192 million loan, complementing the PMA's efforts to provide financing to “Estidama fund” that was officially launched more than a year ago.
Governor Milhem has extended his sincere appreciation to the European Union and the European Investment Bank for their strong cooperation in the design of financing programs targeting the private sector in the Gaza Strip, through providing loan guarantees and incentives to committed borrowers, as part of a common vision to alleviate poverty and facilitate access to finance for SMEs operating in Gaza.
Governor Milhem explained that this agreement also compliments the joint efforts of the European Union, the European Investment Bank, the PMA, and the Government of Palestine to promote investment in clean energy projects, accelerate digital transformation and encourage the use of green technologies, investing in the health and agriculture services, and economic empowerment of women by providing funding for projects led by women and towards joining efforts worldwide to strengthen climate resilience and the green transition.
Governor Milhem also pointed that as of today, there are more than 2,000 projects with a capital of $635 million that have benefited from Estidama, and maintained the sustainability of the work of about 19,700 employees, including women-led businesses, which constituted about 19% of the micro-enterprises funding programme at zero interest rates.
“The European investment bank is a key partner for public and privet investment that creates jobs, enhances economic opportunities and improves lives for millions of Palestinians in the west bank and Gaza. Establishing our first office responsible for the west bank and Gaza will further strengthen the impact of EIB financial, technical support and engagement with Palestinian, European and international partners. The new EIB office builds on our leading contribution to priority water, energy, education and business investment over recent years. “said Werner Hoyer, president of the European investment bank.
“Investment is key to the vision of an independent and sovereign state of Palestine, living in peace and security. Over the last week, I have seen and heard at first-hand how the European investment bank is improving access to clean water and reliable energy and helping Palestinian business to expand, create jobs and invest in a better future. Our first office here, within the EU Representation, will strengthen investment that addresses the economic, social and climate challenges hindering daily life and enable a better future for Palestinians” said Gelsomina Vigliotti, European Investment bank vice president.
“The European Union and EU member states are committed to supporting investment in the West Bank and Gaza. The first permanent presence of the European Investment Bank the EU’s long-term lending institution, will enhance cooperation between European and Palestinian partners, enable local projects to benefit from the EIB’s unique technical, energy, water and private sector expertise. Team Europe is helping create a better future for Palestinians,” said EU Representative Sven Kohn von Burgsdorff.
The ceremony included a panel discussion held by the European Investment Bank in cooperation with the Palestinian Government and a number of business representatives, entitled "Real Economy and Financial Sector: Constraints and Opportunities", moderated by the journalist Reem Al Omari, with the participation of His Excellency Mr. Khaled Al Assili, Minister of National Economy, Mr. Azim Bishara, CEO of Masader, Ms. Gelsomina Vigliotti, European Investment bank vice president, Mr. Hashim Shawa, Chairman of Bank of Palestine, Mr. Bassem Khoury, CEO of Pharmacare, and Mrs. Maha Abu Shosha CEO of Shusha Contracting, Dr. Samir Hulileh Chairman of Portland Trust and CEO of Malchat.
The European Investment Bank also signed a $22 million loan agreement with Cairo Amman Bank.
On behalf of Prime Minister Mohammad Shtayyeh, the Governor Dr. Feras Milhem, participated in the opening of the Office of the European Investment Bank in Palestine.
“I am honored today to participate in the opening of the European Investment Bank office in Palestine, an event that we consider another milestone in Palestine-EU cooperation and a reflection of the European Union's deep belief in the continued support and development of the State of Palestine, its institutions and its economy, that have culminated in the establishment of the EU-Palestine investment platform aimed at promoting policy dialogue on investment and helping to identify, prioritize, coordinate and enhance the investment opportunities offered by the EU's external investment plan in Palestine.” said Governor Milhem
He also added that the EU has been and continues to support the State of Palestine, and now support is evolving to offer new channels to economic growth and increased cooperation in promoting private sector investment, thus contributing to achieving security and economic independence.