RAMALLAH, 16 May 2012 - The Director-General of the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) today visited Ramallah for meetings with local officials, including Prime Minister Salam Fayyad.
During a meeting at the Ministry of National Economy, which included representatives of the private sector, it was agreed that UNIDO will develop a new programme with a focus on industrial upgrading and modernization, including an industrial competitiveness strategy; integrated trade capacity building and export diversification; agribusiness development; pharmaceuticals; and renewable energy partnerships.
UNIDO will also seek financing and technical support from donors, including from the EU, Germany, Israel, Norway, as well as from USAID, and the Islamic Bank.
During his meetings in Ramallah, Director-General Kandeh K. Yumkella noted that UNIDO was prepared to provide support for the new industrial policy, as recently requested by Palestinian counterparts, and would spare no efforts to further strengthen and enhance cooperation.
UNIDO’s support to Palestine goes back to the early 1990s when the Organization provided technical and policy advice on industrial development, as well as feasibility studies.
In 1999, UNIDO launched the Integrated Programme for Palestine, and despite the political developments that followed in the year 2000, the programme continued to operate. During the 1990s, UNIDO support was a key factor in the establishment of the Palestinian Federation of Industries (PFI), now considered a prominent private sector institution.
In 2005, UNIDO launched a new project, which resulted in the establishment of a Technical and Vocational Educational Training Centre (TVET) for the marble and stone sector.
The Director-General also visited the Birzeit Pharmaceutical Company which employs some 300 people and has a 22 per cent market share locally.
A delegation led by the new Minister of National Economy will visit UNIDO headquarters in Vienna in July.