JERICHO, Wednesday, July 03, 2019 (WAFA) – The Conference on Cooperation among East Asian Countries for Palestinian Development (CEAPAD) launched today in the ancient West Bank city of Jericho its fourth conference, the first in Palestine, with meetings between trade delegations. The official launch is scheduled for tomorrow in Ramallah.
Minister of Economy Khaled Ossaily opened the CEAPAD Trade Day in the presence of a trade delegation from Indonesia and Palestinian businessmen.
"This economic forum is an opportunity to strengthen economic and trade cooperation with CEAPAD countries, enhance the possibilities for joint investments, expand our cooperation in the fields of industry and support the national product," said Ossaily.
He urged the participants to establish trade and investment partnerships in the various sectors of investment in industry, tourism, ICT, renewable energy and industry, and to benefit from the privileges provided by the international agreements signed by Palestine with various countries, especially in the area of exemption from customs.
"We are counting on your support and role in developing our economy and in facing financial and economic challenges, as well as assisting us in implementing our strategic projects aimed at expanding the productive base and enhancing the steadfastness of our people while benefiting from the experiences of the CEAPAD countries in developing the Palestinian economy," said the economy minister.
Japan’s ambassador to Palestine, Takeshi Okubo, said that the Asian countries that are members in CEAPAD, including Japan, are committed to continuing to provide development support to Palestine, pointing out that the conference is aimed at enhancing economic development opportunities in Palestine.
He reiterated his country‘s commitment to the two-state solution and standing by the Palestinian people until the establishment of their independent state in accordance with international resolutions.
For his part, the head of the Federation of Indonesian Chambers of Commerce, Mufti Hamekha, spoke about the progress in trade and industry in his country, stressing the readiness of Indonesian businessmen to find partnerships with their counterparts in Palestine in order to build mutually beneficial trade relations.
The head of the trade section in the office of the International Quartet, Audrey Adams, stressed the commitment of the Quartet and in partnership with donors such as the Japanese government to support the building of the Palestinian economy with focus on improving the competitiveness of Palestinian products and access to new markets such as CEAPAD countries.
She pointed out that the Quartet is working to create an environment to enable trade, noting that the trade day aims to create an environment for networking between the Palestinian business community and their counterparts from CEAPAD countries, especially Indonesian businesspeople.
The trade day was held under the patronage of the Prime Minister and the Ministry of National Economy, with funding from the Japanese government, in cooperation with PalTrade, the International Quartet, the Federation of Palestinian Business Associations, the Federation of Palestinian Chambers of Commerce and Industry, the Indonesian Federation of Chambers of Commerce, and Bank of Palestine.
It included a panel discussion moderated by the Quartet representative on the economy in Palestine, with the participation of experts in trade, logistics, finance and customs clearance. Meetings were also organized between Palestinian and Indonesian businessmen with an aim to do networking and achieve business partnerships.
The first CEAPAD conference was held in the Japanese capital Tokyo in 2013; the second in the Indonesian capital Jakarta in 2014, and the third edition in the Thai capital Bangkok in 2018.
CEAPAD member states are eight and they include: Japan, Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand, Singapore, Vietnam, the Sultanate of Brunei and Palestine. The observer countries and organizations are: South Korea, Egypt, Jordan, the International Quartet, UNRWA and the Islamic Development Bank.