Main reports: Massar International announced the initial closing of the Siraj Palestine Fund at $60m on 3 February. Siraj is the first private equity fund dedicated solely to companies operating in the Palestinian Territory.
Preliminary national accounts’ estimates for Q3 2010, released by the Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics, show that GDP was 0.6% lower compared to Q2 2010. The biggest decrease was seen in agriculture in the West Bank, reflecting seasonal changes in the sector.
The Palestine Economic Policy Research Institute (MAS) released the first Palestinian country report for the Global Entrepreneurship Monitor on 22 January. It found the opportunities for entrepreneurship to be favourable in the Palestinian Territory compared to other MENA countries. However the ‘fear of failure’ prevents 42% of people from starting a business. Average required start-up capital for new enterprises is around $10,000.
A package of $428m development projects for East Jerusalem was presented to the Arab Economic and Development Summit on 19 January. These projects form part of the PA’s new strategic plan for Jerusalem. A committee has been formed to study the proposals.