kerry palestinian economic plan looks to inject 4bn
Last Updated : GMT 10:30:02
Arab Today, arab today
Arab Today, arab today

Kerry: Palestinian economic plan looks to inject $4bn

Arab Today, arab today

Arab Today, arab today Kerry: Palestinian economic plan looks to inject $4bn

Al-Shunah - AFP

US Secretary of State John Kerry said on Sunday an economic plan to revive the ailing Palestinian economy is expected to produce around $4 billion dollars in investment. \"We are looking to mobilise some $4 billion of investment\" in industries such as tourism and construction, Kerry told the closing session of the World Economic Forum, held in the Jordanian town of Al Shunah on the shores of the Dead Sea. Kerry said business experts had been working to make the project \"real, tangible and shovel-ready\". He added the preliminary results of their analysis were \"stunning\" and showed the plan would \"dramatically\" bring life to the economy. \"These experts believe we will increase the Palestinian GDP by as much as 50 percent over three years. \"The most optimistic estimates foresee enough new jobs to cut unemployment by two-thirds to eight percent down from 21 percent and to increase the median wage by 40 percent,\" said the top US diplomat. Since taking up the baton this year in the long-elusive search for Middle East peace, Kerry has refused to divulge publicly the details of how he intends to bridge the bitter differences between Israel and the Palestinians. But he has entrusted Quartet Middle East peace envoy Tony Blair with the task of drawing up an economic plan to attract tourism and private sector investment into the West Bank and breathe fresh hope into the area. Blair has already been working with Coca-Cola chief executive Muhtar Kent on ways of attracting investment into the depressed West Bank. Blair \"is shaping what I believe could be a ground-breaking plan... that will transform the fortunes of a future Palestinian state,\" said Kerry. \"It is a plan for the Palestinian economy that is bigger, bolder and more ambitious than anything proposed since Oslo,\" he added in reference to the 1993 peace accords. The West Bank had seen moderate growth in recent years only to be set back by Israeli and Western moves to stall aid following the Palestinian bid for upgraded UN status. \"In fact this moment in history is actually one of the great stories of our time. And the ending remains unwritten which is why what we are doing here is actually important,\" Kerry said. Kerry said home construction can produce more than 100,000 jobs over the next three years, urging the private and public sectors to cooperate. \"The public and private sectors alike have a responsibility to meet the demands of this moment and one can\'t do it without the other. We need you at the table,\" he said. \"We need a new model for how we are going to bring order and open up the possibilities. We need to partner with the private sector because it\'s clear most governments don\'t have the money.\" Kerry insisted that this \"is absolutely achievable\". \"The path to creating stability by creating millions of jobs is urgent for all of us,\" he said.

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