July 2009


Main reports: The joint Palestinian-Israeli economic committee is expected to reconvene before the end of July, after years of inaction. The Palestinians will press Israel to release frequencies for Wataniya Mobile, allow Palestinian products into Jerusalem, open borders in the Gaza Strip and renew the Palestinian Businessmen Cards.

The Palestine Islamic Bank renewed its agreement this month with Israel’s Discount Bank to clear cheques, SWIFT transactions, money transfers and cash deposits on its behalf in Israel.

PCBS launched their new National Strategy for the Development of Statistics, which should raise the quality of data produced by the statistical system while improving the dissemination and accessibility of official statistics; PCBS reports that GDP increased by 3.9% in Q1 2009 compared to Q4 2008. GDP per capita for the West Bank and Gaza Strip increased by 3.1% to $324.8 in Q1 2009 compared to Q4 2008.

Foreign investment funds from the UK and the UAE invested in companies listed on the Palestinian Securities Exchange (PSE) in June. Last month, 26.7 million shares changed hand, an increase of 139.5% from the previous month. The value of traded shares rose by 143.5% to $70.2m, while market capitalisation grew by 2.3% to reach $2.41bn.