During a workshop organized by the Institute of Public Policies
Demands to adopt
mechanisms to strengthen the Palestinian economy and overcome its shortcomings
- Participants in a workshop entitled "The Palestinian Economy between Reality
and Ambition", organized by the Institute of Public Policies (IPP), in
partnership with the German
(FES), called for the adoption of public policies and measures that contribute
to advancing economic activity in the region. Palestine, and addressing the
imbalances and shortcomings that it suffers from on more than one level.
The workshop, which was organized virtually using the Zoom
application, is the first in the Public Policy Forum, organized by the Institute
for the second year in a row.
The workshop was attended by the Professor of Banking and
Finance at Kadoorie University, Dr. Muhammad Abu Amsha, and the President of the
Consumer Protection Association in the Ramallah and Al-Bireh Governorate Salah
Haniyeh, in addition to the Chairman of the Institute’s Board of Directors, Dr.
Mohamed Odeh, and member of the Board of Directors, Dr. Abdullah Al-Najjar, and
Director of Programs at the Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung Rasmus Brandt.
In his intervention on the "parallel economy and its
effects on the national economy", Abu Amsha talked about the concept of the
"shadow economy", explaining that it is one of the old-new phenomena that
societies have suffered - and still are suffering- whether they are developed or
He pointed out that the shadow economy -parallel economy-
is very important to the national economy, because of its impact on many
sectors, as it consists of all legal and illegal economic activities in the
market, pointing to the vitality of understanding the relationship between it
and the official economy.
He presented some definitions of the shadow economy,
focusing on the reasons for not registering activities in many cases, such as
tax evasion, attributing the growth of this economic pattern to unfair tax and
political systems, lack of wages and material and moral incentives, and the
complexity of administrative and regulatory procedures in the formal labor
market, as well as the high level of unemployment, and other factors.
He focused on the positive and negative impacts of the
shadow economy's activities on the official economy, and its estimation methods,
then he spoke about the shadow economy in Palestine, saying that its components
include the activities of the informal sector, in addition to illegal activities
such as money laundering, fraud, corruption and embezzlement of public funds,
economic crimes, commercial fraud, counterfeit checks and banknotes crimes, and
He explained that the shadow economy causes a lot of money
to be wasted, which was supposed to go to the state treasury, enabling the
government to fulfill its various obligations.
He urged the government to adopt a strategy to integrate
the shadow economy into the official economy, by putting in place laws that
contribute to achieving this goal, in addition to working to amend the Paris
National Product Protection
For his part, Haniyeh spoke about "protecting the national
product and boycotting Israeli products", pointing to the high volume of imports
from the Israeli side, amounting to $4.2 billion annually.
He believed that campaigns to boycott Israeli products are
not permanent and institutionalized, and therefore take the form of "spikes",
meaning that they are temporary and linked to specific events, pointing to the
efforts of consumer protection associations to raise awareness of the importance
of the boycott, and the need to support the national product.
He pointed out that the government possesses many measures
and tools that allow it to protect the Palestinian market and support national
products in the face of the policy of dumping Israeli products, such as imposing
heavy penalties on anyone who smuggles settlement products.
He also pointed out that there is a role for industrialists
in supporting the national product and promoting the boycott issue, by focusing
on quality, and upgrading packaging and promotion operations, pointing in turn
to the consumer's role in giving more impetus to the boycott in concept and
He believed that "the basis of the boycott is the
government and the private sector, not the consumer," noting that the government
should announce a clear position on supporting and encouraging Palestinian
products, expanding industrial zones, encouraging investment and non-tariff
He said: Municipalities and non-governmental institutions
should clearly declare that they do not deal with Israeli products in their bids
and purchases, adding, "Popular and civil institutions should be the safety
valve, by institutionalizing the act of boycotting Israeli products."
The workshop, which began with a speech by Odeh, in which
he indicated that the workshop is part of a series of workshops that will be
organized by the Institute during the coming period, dealing with various files
related to the Palestinian economy, with a focus on the public policies required
to advance it, within the framework of the Institute’s role, activity and
He pointed to the importance of developing well-thought-out
public policies that meet the needs of society, especially in emergency
circumstances, as is the case for Palestine, noting the negative effects of the
Covid-19 pandemic on the economic reality in Palestine.
He stated that the Institute, in cooperation with its
partners, decided to focus, through two successive workshops, on the main themes
related to the Palestinian economic crisis, while linking this file to the issue
of public policies.
Al-Najjar provided an overview of the institute, and its
activities, launched in 2006, with the aim of covering the lack of theoretical
and applied production in the field of public policies, to help decision makers
by presenting practical policy models in all fields.
For his part, Brandt stressed the importance of the
workshop, for dealing with the economic file, noting that the German
institution, which has a long history in the field of global labor movements, is
concerned with strengthening the Palestinian economy.
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