With Funds from the Government of Japan - the Ministry of National Economy, PIEFZA and UNDP Inaugurate Hangars at the Jericho Agro-Industrial Park

Aug 28, 2017

H.E. Abeer Odeh, Dr Ali Shaath, H.E. Takeshi Okubo, and Mr Roberto Valent - curtain revealing and inaugurating the hangars

Jericho, 28 August 2017 – The Government of Japan, the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), the Ministry of National Economy, the Palestinian Industrial Estates and Free Zones Authority (PIEFZA), and the Jericho Agro-Industrial Park Company (JAIPCo.) inaugurated today 11 industrial hangars that will be used by the Palestinian private sector at the Jericho Agro-Industrial Park (JAIP) for warehouse, production and operational purposes.

This project is part of a comprehensive plan which aims to provide fully functional and operational services to the Jericho Agro Industrial Park and contribute towards sustainable economic development in the State of Palestine and regional stability under the Japan-led “Corridor for Peace and Prosperity” initiative.

H.E. Abeer Odeh, Minister of National Economy and Chairman of PIEFZA thanked the Government of Japan and its people for their continuous support to Palestinian economic development. “Today, eleven industrial hangars have been completed and the second phase of the industrial zone will commence in November, covering 475 dunums,” she added. “The development of the industrial cities programme, and more specifically the Jericho Agro Industrial Park, is closely followed by President Mahmoud Abbas and Prime Minister Dr Rami Al-Hamdallah.".

Dr. Saeb Erekat, Secretary General of the Executive Committee of the PLO, highlighted that “the Jericho Agro Industrial Park is one of the landmarks of Palestinian resilience, entrenching the Palestinian right to establish a state with East Jerusalem as its capital.” Dr Erekat, expressing his appreciation to the Government of Japan’s contribution towards the Palestinian State and its prosperity, also said “Ten years ago, we embarked on the journey of the remarkable achievements of the Jericho Agro Industrial Park. Today, it is a great privilege of mine to see the inauguration of the hangars, having a new journey for 11 Palestinian investors to begin their dreams and to continue our vision of having this area as the economic flagship of Palestine.”

The project, implemented by UNDP over two phases for the amount of USD 3,668,470, includes the construction of 11 industrial hangars, covering a total area of 11,000 square meters, in addition to an external asphalt pavement, foundation, civil and site works. The support to industrial services: Hangars 1 and 2 is expected to act as a stimulus to economic activities and increase employment in Jericho and the surrounding areas. The two phases of the project generated over 10,000 workdays for Palestinians in Jericho and the rest of the West Bank.

“It is my deep pleasure to be among you today to celebrate a milestone. This would not have been possible without the fruitful partnership between the Government of Japan, UNDP, PIEFZA, JAIPCo., and JICA,” said H.E. Takeshi Okubo Ambassador for Palestinian Affairs and the Representative of Japan to Palestine. “I still remember my visit to JAIP in 2015 when I came back to serve in Palestine for the second time. At that time, JAIP was almost empty with no tenants operating. Now about two years later, there are 7 factories operating and more are constructing their factories or getting ready for starting production in the hangars. I strongly believe in the importance of adopting an integrated strategic approach to enhance the industrial environment, not only by focusing on providing infrastructure within and outside of JAIP, but also by developing human resources and providing services and economic incentives to investors. These elements will pave the way for the desired results. We also have to continue working together to overcome the challenges that JAIP faces. The city of Jericho and JAIP is indeed a symbol of the bright future of Palestine. In light of what is happening in the region of wars as well as political and economic crises, we are lighting a candle to illuminate the path for us and future generations. For better future for Palestine and the Middle East.”

Engineer Said Dwaikat, Member of the Board of Directors at the Jericho Industrial Park Company, stated ''We believe the true success of JAIP is not only recognized with an area full of operating factories but also with providing an added value to every stage of the supply chain and enhancing the productivity of its elements. We aim to develop, manage and operate JAIP and represent innovation, entrepreneurship, competitiveness, and opportunities.”

The project builds upon the Government of Japan’s long and historical assistance to the Palestinian people in various sectors. To date, the Government of Japan has invested over USD 20.7 million worth of assistance to JAIP through UNDP, creating around 22,900 workdays. The Jericho Agro-industrial Park, once completed, is expected to transform the Jordan Valley into a thriving area with a strong private sector and economic and social importance.

“The Government of Japan is a true strategic partner for the future,” said Roberto Valent, UNDP Special Representative of the Administrator. “Public-Private Partnership can be the driving force for enhanced economic growth and investment. This project will accelerate Palestinian industrialization and provide opportunities for Palestinian producers to develop and expand in local and international markets. We hope that the hangars will attract more tenants, increasing the momentum of the JAIP activities and contributing to a viable Palestinian economy,” he added.

The Hangars were officially declared for business following a ribbon cutting ceremony and a tour around the location. The ceremony was held on Monday 28 August 2017 at the JAIP Administration Building in the presence of Dr Saeb Erekat, Secretary General of PLO, H.E. Abeer Odeh, Minister of National Economy and Chairman of PIEFZA, H.E. Takeshi Okubo, Ambassador for Palestinian Affairs and Representative of Japan to Palestine, Dr Ali Shaath, PIEFZA CEO, Mr Said Dwaikat, JAIP Company’s Acting General Manager, and Roberto Valent, UNDP Special Representative of the Administrator.

The Government of Japan has provided more than USD 344 million to UNDP/PAPP since 1993 for project implementation in the areas of infrastructure, rubble removal, health, education, agriculture, access to justice, and others. The Government of Japan has been providing over USD 1.8 billion worth of assistance to Palestine since 1993, contributing to improving the lives of the Palestinian people.

Contact information

Dania Darwish, Communications Specialist, Tel. +972-2-6268229 – e-mail: dania.darwish@undp.org. For more information on UNDP/PAPP see http://www.ps.undp.org.