Billions lost to Palestine due to West Bank occupation

08 October 2013

Palestinian economy could expand by 35 per cent if land was accessible

More than 60 per cent of the land in the West Bank is inaccessible to Palestine, resulting in a loss to the economy of billions of dollars.

According to a new report from the World Bank, the current loss to the economy caused by restrictions on land referred to as Area C stands at $3.4bn. If Israel lifted the restrictions on the land, allowing businesses and farms to be set up, it could boost Palestine gross domestic product (GDP) by over a third.

There is a need for Palestine to expand its economy and lessen its reliance on donor-finance consumption and a stagnating private sector, the report states. It outlines industries such as agriculture, stone mining and quarrying, construction and tourism as sectors that could flourish in Area C.

The report estimates that development of the land could increase government revenues by $800m, helping to reduce Palestine’s fiscal deficit and lowering unemployment and poverty rates.

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