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Palestinian economic plan of $4bn: Kerry

27 May 2013, 10:30

Al Shunah - US Secretary of State John Kerry said on Sunday an economic plan to revive the ailing Palestinian economy is expected to produce around $4bn in investment.

"We are looking to mobilise about $4bn of investment" in tourism 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% over three years.

"The most optimistic estimates foresee enough new jobs to cut unemployment by two-thirds to eight percent down from 21% and to increase the median wage by 40%," said the top US diplomat.

Kerry 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.



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