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Economic diplomacy

Italy and Palestine have a longstanding relations, which were strengthened during the last years.

The institutionalization of these relations pass through the Joint Ministerial Committee, which was established in 2012 in Rome and was convened for the second time in Ramallah on June 29, 2015, when the two Ministers of Foreign Affairs signed 10 Memorandum of Understanding in a number of sectors: health, economic development, agriculture, civil protection, justice, gender, cultural heritage, academic and scientific research.

Among the most important activities promoted by the Italian Cooperation, its role as EU Active Donor in the Economic Development sector has to be highlighted: after sovereign soft loan to support the electric sector (EUMP Program) and the SMEs, in 2014 the Italian Cooperation launched the Start-Up Palestine Program and in 2016 it launched the FIN-PAL Program (financial inclusion in Palestine), to promote economic growth and to create new job opportunities for economically marginalized groups (women, young graduates, farmers) or geographically marginalized groups (East Jerusalem, Area C, Gaza Strip).

More than 1500 loans have been disbursed within the Italian credit lines, with a strong stress on the promotion of Italian machinery and technology, contributing to a further development of trade relations.

The latter is pursued also through an extended network of contacts managed by the Consulate General, supported by the ICE antenna in Ramallah, to spread information about business opportunities, to match businessmen and to organize B2B meetings. Wide assistance is provided to solve customs issues and to manage the particular Palestinian commercial law.

Another tool to support business activity is the Palestinian International Arbitration Chamber (PIAC), a project funded by the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Umbria Region, to offer alternative methods of dispute settlements, in compliance with the international standards. The Chamber is operational since June 2014 and was inaugurated by the President of the Italian Senate, Pietro Grasso.