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World Bank Private Sector Working Group Decides To Integrate Itself Into The Ankara Forum
22/06/2007 - Viewed 1929 times

Ankara- The Private Sector Working Group (PSWG), gathering Israeli and Palestinian businessmen and initiated in 2005 within the World Bank, has decided to dissolve itself and continue its activities within the Ankara Forum.


In a letter to the members of the PSWG by Mr. David Craig, the World Bank Director in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip, it is explained that the group could not have any activities since January 2006 and could not work in a continous and efficient manner due to the political instability on the ground. The letter also pointed out that the Ankara Forum initiated by the Union of Chambers and Commodity Exchanges of Turkey (TOBB) has been working actively and successfully. Therefore, the decision to dissolve the World Bank PSWG and to integrate it into the Ankara Forum process was communicated to the members, some of whom are also members of the Ankara Forum.


The Work Continues Despite the Growing Violence in the Region

"The Ankara Forum for Economic Cooperation between Palestine, Turkey, and Israel" is one of the rare platforms working actively in the region. This private sector dialogue mechanism has been initiated with the participation of TOBB, the Federation of Palestinian Chambers, and the Israeli Manufacturer's Association. The Economic Policy Research Foundation of Turkey (TEPAV), founded with initial support from TOBB, is carrying out the coordination and technical analysis of the Ankara Forum. Despite the recent violence in the region, efforts on all sides are continuing for the successful implementation of the Project.


The Forum gathered its first meeting in Ankara in April, 2005. Following this meeting, four additional meetings were called; in East Jerusalem in June, 2005, in Istanbul in September, 2005, in Tel Aviv in 2007, and in Washington, DC in March, 2007. The most important project initiated at these meetings is The Project on the Revitalization of the Erez Industrial Zone in the North of the Gaza Strip. The Ankara Forum, which has intensified its efforts in order to diversify its activities in the next period, plans to focus on a set of concrete, technical projects concerning the Palestinian people in addition to the Erez Project. These future activities will include issues such as Small and Medium Enterprise (SME) development, capacity building and education.


In the meantime, The United States Chamber of Commerce has also communicated its willingness to take part in the Ankara Forum process as an observer.




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