BRUSSELS: The European Union (EU) has launched the EU External Investment Plan (EIP) in Palestine to foster economic development and boost private investment.
A sustainable economy in the West Bank and Gaza is a key factor to grant stability and create perspectives for the Palestinian population.
Challenges such as restrictions to movements of goods and people, a growing working age population, high unemployment, political instability and an increasing demand for energy put a brake on the business environment and discourage foreign investors.
The European Union, which is already the largest supporter of Palestinians, has adopted development programmes under the EIP, worth 23.5 million, to enhance economic growth and create a more business-friendly environment.
The available budget will be used to ensure efficient energy consumption as well as affordable and reliable energy production in Palestine.
It will also support small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) with advisory services and by reimbursing a share of the total costs of services.
Finally, EU funding will contribute to broadening the range of financial services available for Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises, particularly in Gaza.
The package was announced today at an EIP launch event in Ramallah, according to an European Commission press release.