The workshop aimed at analysing and challenging economic policy as well as the socio-economic situation in the Palestinian Territories. The main aspects discussed by the attending politicians, academics and members of civil society included the fiscal, employment, investment and foreign trade policies in the West Bank and Gaza.
Regarding the fiscal and trade policies, most stakeholders criticized the PNA’s adoption of international community’s recommendations of fiscal conservatism and austerity. The result of these policies has caused the centralization of wealth and economic activity in the main cities.
Concerning the question of unemployment, the participants stated that the Palestinian public sector has in many ways functioned as a welfare solution to high unemployment rates in the Palestinian economy which are also a result of structural mismatches between the skills demanded by employers and those provided by the Palestinian educational system.
The key notes by Fadi Fadi S. Abdellatif (Special Advisor to the Palestinian Ministry of National Economy) and Dr. Mohammad Shtayyeh (Director of the Palestinian Economic Council for Development and Reconstruction) allowed for a critical, constructive, and complex discussion.
Department for Middle East and North Africa
The Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung has a network of eleven country offices in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region and implements projects in a total of 14 countries. Some offices, such as Egypt or Sudan, look back at a history of more than 40 years of cooperation.