dinsdag 12 maart 2013

World Bank: Palestinian economy is loosing its growth potential due to Israel's restrictions



(door tijdgebrek geen vertaling, volgt misschien later)
 A World Bank report published ahead of a forum of donors to the Palestinian Authority to be held in Brussels next week warns of the continued deterioration of the Palestinian economy, one “that will have lasting and costly implications for economic competitiveness and social cohesion.”
The report, titled “Fiscal Challenges and Long Term Economic Costs,” called on the international community to consider not only the immediate fiscal stress of the Palestinian Authority, but also the long-term decline, caused directly by Israeli-imposed economic restrictions and the prolonged system of closures.
Reiterating previous reports that stated the problems stemming from Israeli restrictions and the political stalemate, the report adds that “the growth potential of a small economy depends to a large extent on its capacity to compete in global markets − yet, since 1994, the Palestinian economy has been steadily losing this capacity. In particular, the manufacturing sector, one of the key drivers of export-led growth, has largely stagnated between 1994 and the present and its share of Gross Domestic Product ‏(GDP‏) has declined substantially.” 
 Since the late 1990s, the productivity of the agriculture sector has halved and the manufacturing sector has largely stagnated, the report found.
Exports dropped to 7 percent in 2011, one of the lowest rates in the world. Exports are concentrated in low value-added goods and services and mostly sold to Israel, according to the World Bank.
Water and transport infrastructure is deteriorating, damaging economic productivity, particularly in Gaza which has been under an Israeli blockade since 2007.
Meanwhile, "alarmingly high" levels of unemployment mean many Palestinians do not have the chance to develop on-the-job skills, the report notes. Increased employment in the public sector has provided short-term relief but is unsustainable and does not prepare workers for private sector roles.
"The worrisome implication of these phenomena is that the long term employability prospects for the Palestinian labor force are being eroded. In addition to the economic implications, protracted unemployment, especially among youth, tends to weaken social cohesion," the report says.
The gross domestic product growth for the first three quarters of 2012 in all of the Palestinian territories was 6.1 percent − down from an average of 11 percent in 2010 and 2011. In Gaza it was 7.7 percent, compared to 15 percent in each of the two previous years; in the West Bank 5.5 percent compared to 9 percent in each of the two previous years.Still these figures don't look too bad, but the World Bank mentions that most of the growth was based on an increase of public sector activity, which lead to a substantial improvement of health, education and social services, in comparison to the years of direct Israeli rule.

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