The wave of protests, “Al-Habbeh,” had its toll on the Palestinian economy during 2015, incurring losses that amounted to 5 billion shekels, according to the Ministry of Economy. Nevertheless, the year witnessed several economic achievements.
The UN adopts a draft resolution affirming the inalienable rights of the Palestinian people over their natural resources
Hasnaa Al Rantisy – Palestine Economy Portal
Translated by Tamara Barakat
Azmi Abd Al-Rahman, the acting Director-General of the Economic Policies Department at the Ministry of Economy, said that despite the 5 billion shekel losses incurred by the “Habbeh”, there were several positive factors that supported the Palestinian economy in 2015. These factors consisted of economic policies that focused on supporting the national product and increasing its competitiveness in the market.
Moreover, the organization and control of the local market improved noticeably in 2015. For example, 50 Palestinian merchants were taken to court and around 150 – 200 tons of expired and settlement products were destroyed. Abd Al-Rahman said that the efforts to control the market were strong despite the increase in Israeli obstacles, which sometimes succeeded in weakening these efforts and decreasing their results.
He considered the European Union’s decision to label the Israeli settlement products sold in its markets, starting from November 2015, and distinguish them from the products made in Israel, to be one of the most important economic decisions made in 2015.
The year also included international Palestinian moves to join international economic organizations, such as the World Trade Organization and the GS1 to obtain an international barcode.
Abd Al-Rahman also hailed the move to cancel exclusive dealerships with Israeli producers and suppliers, and support Palestinian dealers in order to end the Palestinian economic dependence on Israel.
He considered Palestine’s participation in the National Entrepreneurship and Employment Week a great and positive step for the Palestinian economy. Also, continuing the construction of industrial cities this year, and signing on agreements with those investing in the cities, will have great results that the citizens will be able to benefit from in the long run.
Moreover, he believed that the UN resolution on the sovereignty of the Palestinian people over their natural resources is an achievement to be marked for the economy, and its implementation will directly benefit the country’s Treasury since the economic losses incurred in Area “C” alone form $3.5 billion every year.
He also saw that all these steps will have positive effects that will reveal themselves a few years from now.