Statistics: A sharp decline in building permits

Ramallah – Ma’an – The Central Bureau of Statistics reported a decrease in the number of licenses issued in Palestine during the first quarter of 2024 by 20% compared to the fourth quarter of 2023.

The statistics stated in a statement issued today, Wednesday, that no building permits were issued in the Gaza Strip during the same period, while the West Bank witnessed a decline of 20%, and the number of permits issued in Palestine recorded a decrease of 36% compared to the corresponding quarter of the year. 2023, as the number of new building permits decreased by 20% compared to the fourth quarter of 2023, and decreased by 45% compared to the corresponding quarter of 2023.

He pointed out that the number of building permits issued for residential and non-residential buildings reached 1,624 permits during the first quarter of 2024, including 900 new building permits.

The “Statistics” indicated that the total area of ??buildings (residential and non-residential) amounted to 902 thousand square meters, of which
713 thousand square meters are the area of ??new buildings and 189 thousand square meters are the area of ??existing buildings.

The number of licensed residential units reached 3,556 residential units with an area of ??612 thousand square metres, including 2,719 new residential units with an area of ??473 thousand square metres, and 837 existing residential units with a total area of ??139 thousand square metres.

The number of new residential units recorded a decrease of 14% during the first quarter of 2024 compared to the fourth quarter of 2023, and by 29% compared to the corresponding quarter of 2023.

Source: Maan News Agency

The General Authority of the Palestine Investment Fund holds its regular meeting

Ramallah – Together – The Palestine Investment Fund held its annual regular general assembly meeting at the Millennium Hotel in Ramallah, headed by Mr. Iyad Judeh, Chairman of the Board of Directors, and in the presence of members of the Board of Directors, members of the General Assembly, Mr. Fadi Al Dweik, Director General, in addition to Mr. Tariq Rabaya. Registrar of Companies at the Ministry of National Economy, and Mr. Hazem Sababa, Partner at PricewaterhouseCoopers Palestine, the external auditing firm.

Mr. Judeh explained in his report to the members of the General Assembly that, despite the brutal aggression against our people, the Fund continues to implement a group of vital projects, in the sectors of renewable energy, health, industry, small projects, and other sectors, and it succeeded during the year. The past has achieved a number of achievements at the project level, and the continuation of work on them, in addition to building New partnerships with local and regional entities.

In his report
, Mr. Judeh reviewed a number of achievements that had a tangible impact on the ground, at the level of existing projects and investments, or those under implementation, and the most prominent of these achievements are:

Rabieh Feed Factory

The start of commercial production was announced at the Rabieh Feed Factory located in Beit Ula in Hebron Governorate yesterday, which is considered a national achievement for the Fund and its partners in the Palestine Industrial Investment Company. Note that the factory had begun trial production at the beginning of the year 2024. The factory’s production capacity is 40 thousand tons annually, and it aims to reduce imports, enhance local products, and rely on national production as an alternative to imported ones.

Solar energy program on school roofs:

By the end of 2023, the Fund has succeeded in installing solar energy systems on the rooftops of 270 schools, and 220 of them have already been operated, which constitutes the result of a partnership that the Fund is prou
d of with the Ministry of Education, the Jerusalem Governorate Electricity Company, and the Electricity Distribution Company. Al-Shamal and Hebron Electricity Company, which resulted in the implementation of this national project, whose economic effects are reflected in reducing the annual electricity bill for schools by an average of 3 million shekels. In addition to the environmental and educational impact.

‘Noor Ramoun’ solar power station

: As part of our projects in the solar energy sector, and through partnership with the Jerusalem Governorate Electricity Company, the Fund completed during the past year the installation work and operation of ‘Noor Ramoun’ station in Ramallah and Al-Bireh Governorate. The station’s production capacity is 4.2 megawatts, so that the Jerusalem Governorate Electricity Company will benefit from the electrical energy that is produced for 25 years. The station is considered a continuation of the Noor Palestine Solar Energy Program, and the result of a partnership with the Jer
usalem Governorate Electricity Company.

“Noor Al-Shamal” solar power station.

All civil and mechanical works have been completed at the Nour Al-Shamal solar power station near the town of Beit Lid in Tulkarm Governorate. The production capacity of the station is 5.2 megawatts, on an area of ??55 dunums. The station will begin operating during this year 2024. This project is part of As part of the Fund’s efforts with the Northern Electricity Distribution Company to establish solar energy projects whose total capacity will reach 20 megawatts.

Cement Mill:

During the year 2023, most of the infrastructure for the cement mill project was completed. It is a partnership between Sanad Company and Issa Khoury Group for Mining and Construction Industries. The estimated cost of the project is about 85 million dollars. The project development work has reached advanced stages, and most of it has been installed. Equipment and machinery.

Istishari Cancer Hospital

Construction work has made significant progress in Isti
shari Cancer Hospital during the year 2023, and it is expected to begin operation during the third quarter of this year 2024, with a capacity of 170 beds as a first phase. The hospital is being established through our partners in the Arab Specialized Medical Complex Company, and aims to diagnose and treat all types of cancerous tumors. The hospital will contribute to covering a large portion of the needs of cancer patients in Palestine, to be a source of health services currently available in this field, in addition to hospitals that provide their services in this field, such as: (An-Najah National University Hospital and Al-Mutala’ Hospital).

The Development Impact Bonds Program

was able to achieve positive results for the benefit of Palestinian youth seeking training and job opportunities, as 1,300 male and female trainees were trained until the end of the year 2023, within nine training programs aimed at raising their competencies in specializations that the market urgently needs at the present time, in
addition to To employ more than 600 male and female employees, in various fields including nursing, medicine, public safety, teacher preparation, the construction sector, the field of quality control, professional training and operation for the furniture sector, various administrative fields, and information technology.

The Fund invests in this program alongside a number of international institutions such as: the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, the Dutch Development Bank, and the Chilean-Palestinian Investment Fund. The Fund is participating in launching this program as the first development impact bond specialized in developing skills and employment for Palestinian youth through the ‘Finance to Create Job Opportunities’ project, designed by Social Finance UK and implemented by Development Alternatives (DAI) for the benefit of the Ministry of Finance and funded by the World Bank.

‘Ibda’ program for financing small projects.

In the small and medium enterprises sector, the ‘Ibda’ program co
ntinued to achieve its goals by providing loans to productive projects with the aim of developing them and improving their productivity, as the number of projects benefiting from the program until the end of the year 2023 reached more than 4,120 projects that received loans. Which contributed to providing more than 9,590 job opportunities.

Gaza Financing Program

With the aim of supporting and empowering small and medium enterprises in the Gaza Strip, the Fund launched the Gaza Financing Program by providing participatory grants for these projects. The program is implemented through the Global Communities Foundation (GC), so that the grants contribute to the implementation of the expansion plans of the beneficiary projects and the development of their activities. To increase its productivity and provide job opportunities for the residents of the Strip, grants worth $250,000 have been provided until the end of the year 2023, in various fields, whether industrial, agricultural, commercial, and others.

In the
wake of the aggression and war on the Gaza Strip, the Fund studied and adapted multiple possibilities and partnerships with the aim of reshaping the program and implementing a number of initiatives that meet the possible and feasible portion of the large emergency needs left by the ongoing war against our people, by fully employing the amount allocated to the program for this purpose. Accordingly, work has been underway since the beginning of the current year 2024 to implement a number of initiatives, including providing support through grants to a number of small and micro enterprises in the Gaza Strip that were damaged by the war, with the aim of restoring them to work, and joining the ‘Rise Palestine’ initiative, while other initiatives are being studied. Others will be announced in due course. Since the beginning of the war and aggression, the Fund has also focused on supporting community initiatives within the social responsibility program that aims to provide humanitarian support in the Strip, including
providing emergency assistance to the displaced in the beloved Gaza Strip.

Jerusalem Green Energy Grant Program

The Fund has always paid exceptional attention to the city of Jerusalem, and has been keen to implement projects and programs that contribute to activating its economy and working to provide job opportunities for our people in the city. In this context, the Fund is implementing, in partnership with the European Union, the Jerusalem Green Energy and Sustainability Grant Program to finance Small and medium enterprises, co-financed with the European Union and amounting to 2.4 million euros.

The program aims to provide grants to Jerusalemite projects operating in various sectors, which demonstrate their ability to use financing in a way that serves their commercial interests on the one hand, and focus on using environmentally friendly equipment and machinery, or expanding the production of renewable energy.

The program provided funding grants to about 15 Jerusalemite projects, and the projects recei
ving funding varied and revolved around environmentally friendly ideas, such as: installing solar panels to reduce electricity consumption and using these amounts to employ Jerusalemite youth, or purchasing environmentally friendly equipment and other projects related to recycling.

Mr. Judeh indicated in his report to the members of the General Assembly that during the year 2023, the Fund achieved net profits after taxes amounting to $14.5 million, while the total amount transferred as profits to the treasury amounted to $14.5 million The state from its founding until the end of the year 2023 is about $1.1 billion.

The General Assembly discussed the Fund’s Board of Directors’ report for the year 2023, listened to the Fund’s auditor’s report for the financial year ending on 12/31/2023, and approved the Fund’s final accounts.

At the end of the meeting, Mr. Judeh thanked the political leadership, represented by His Excellency President Mahmoud Abbas, President of the State of Palestine, for his guidance and s
upport for the Fund and its strategic projects, and to His Excellency Dr. Muhammad Mustafa for his period of leadership of the Fund over the past years, which witnessed many achievements despite the challenges. As well as to the partner institutions from the Palestinian private sector, Arab and international institutions, which contributed to the success of the Fund’s projects and programs in various sectors, and to the members of the Board of Directors, the General Authority, the Executive Management and all the Fund’s employees for their tireless work to achieve the goals and mission of the Fund, and to work to consolidate the spirit of cooperation and collaboration. To make the Fund’s journey successful, on the path to establishing our independent Palestinian state with Al-Quds Al-Sharif as its capital.

It is noteworthy that the General Authority of the Fund consists of a number of legal persons, including members of the Board of Directors, and the personalities of the General Authority are diverse as rep
resentatives of various sectors and specializations. Such as public and private institutions and civil society, who in turn represent the shareholder. The General Assembly meets periodically every year in the presence of the Registrar of Companies, and the members of the General Assembly are appointed by decision of the President of the State of Palestine in accordance with the statute.

Source: Maan News Agency

Industry Ministry launches 2nd Edition of eCommerce Champion Overseas programme

Manama, The Ministry of Industry and Commerce launched the second edition of the eCommerce Champion Overseas programme.

The programme was launched in cooperation with Export Bahrain, and the Bahrain Institute of Banking and Finance, with the participation of a number of private entities.

The programme aims to support exports through eCommerce and contribute to the qualification and spread of companies and commercial institutions in this sector. It also aims to enhance the contribution of eCommerce to exports and push institutions and companies towards digital transformation.

Maram Al Mahmeed, Director of Information Systems Directorate at the Ministry of Industry and Commerce, said that the first edition of the programme drew 78 participants who represented 43 companies and institutions.

She noted that the programme will feature seminars on eCommerce and export, highlighting the experiences of leading companies in the sector, including the challenges faced and how they overcame them. The programme will al
so cover the creation of a successful online store and the company’s experience with exporting through eCommerce.

Source: Bahrain News Agency

CBB Treasury Bills fully subscribed

Manama, This week’s BD 70 million issue of Government Treasury Bills has been Fully Subscribed by 100%.

The bills, carrying a maturity of 91 days, are issued by the Central Bank of Bahrain (CBB), on behalf of the Government of the Kingdom of Bahrain.

The issue date of the bills is June 19 and the maturity date is September 18.

The weighted average rate of interest is 5.94% compared to 5.89% in the previous issue on 5th June 2024.

The approximate average price for the issue was 98.520% with the lowest accepted price being 98.481%.

This is issue No. 2021 (ISIN BH000L612818) of Government Treasury Bills. With this, the total outstanding value of Government Treasury Bills is BD 2.110 billion.

Source: Bahrain News Agency

Bahrain All Share Index marks 2,037.84 points

Manama, Bahrain All Share Index has closed at 2,037.84 points, marking a decrease of 1.52 points below the previous closing.

This decrease was due to the drop in the financial sector and the real estate sector.

Bahrain Islamic Index has closed at 826.02 points, marking a decrease of 5.59 points below the previous closing.

Results indicated that 82 equity transactions took place with a volume of 1,927,804 worth BD 344,290.

Investors traded mainly in the financial sector, representing 59.97% of the total value of securities traded.

Source: Bahrain News Agency

IsDB Signs Financing Agreement Worth $150 Million for the Rogun Hydroelectric Power Station in Tajikistan

Dushanbe, Islamic Development Bank (IsDB) Group President Dr. Mohammad Al-Jasser today co-signed with Tajik Minister of Finance Fayzuddin Qahrizoda a financing agreement worth $150 million for the Rogun hydroelectric power station. Tajik Minister of Economic Development Zfqi Zfqizoda witnessed the signing ceremony that took place in the capital, Dushanbe.

The strategic project aims to increase energy production in Tajikistan, provide clean electricity, and enhance regional cooperation in the energy field.

By investing in the Rogun hydropower plant, the IsDB reaffirms its commitment to sustainable energy solutions and regional development.

Source: Saudi Press Agency

Canadian Embassy Delegation Visits Jazan Chamber

Jazan, A delegation from the Canadian Embassy in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia led by the First Secretary at the embassy, on Monday visited the Jazan Chamber, where it met with Chairman of the Chamber Advisor Ahmed Abu Hadi, and Secretary of the Chamber Dr. Majid Al-Johari.

Discussed were topics related to the economy, industry, and agriculture, as well as the many available investment opportunities.

Also highlighted was the unique advantage that the Jazan region has for all commercial sectors.

Source: Saudi Press Agency

Prince Fahd bin Mansour Leads Saudi Delegation to G20 YEA 2024 Summit in Brazil

GoiSnia, Prince Fahd bin Mansour bin Nasser bin Abdulaziz is leading the Kingdom’s delegation participating in the G20 Young Entrepreneurs’ Alliance Summit (G20 YEA Summit), which will be held here between June 12 and 14.

The delegation includes representatives of government entities, private sector, and a select group of Saudi entrepreneurs.

“This summit represents a golden opportunity to highlight the significant achievements made by the Kingdom in the field of startups, small and medium-sized enterprises, and entrepreneurship,” Prince Fahd said in a statement.

He noted that the summit enables the exchange of innovative ideas, the establishment of global strategic partnerships, and opens up prospects for investment opportunities in Saudi startups, thus contributing to achieving sustainable economic growth goals.

He said that the summit will continue until June 16 and will discuss recommendations to be presented to the leaders of the G20 countries to enhance the business environment for startups.

He add
ed that the summit encourages global community participation in shaping these policies to ensure representation of the diverse entrepreneurial ecosystems’ needs.

The summit agenda includes dialogue sessions to exchange ideas and propose solutions, exhibitions, and designated areas for building business relationships and holding bilateral meetings.

Prince Fahd emphasized that the G20 YEA Summit provides a vital opportunity for entrepreneurs in the Kingdom to develop their businesses, establish strategic regional and global partnerships, showcase their services, explore expansion into new markets, attract foreign investments, attract global talent, and discover innovative solutions offered by participating startups.

At the summit, the Kingdom will present facilities offered to entrepreneurs, and the stimulating regulatory environment that helps small and medium-sized enterprises grow, in line with the Saudi Vision 2030 goals.

The advantages offered to entrepreneurs looking to start their projects in the Kin
gdom or those seeking to expand or relocate their facilities in the Kingdom will also be presented at the summit.

The Kingdom’s participation in the summit is part of its continuous efforts to empower entrepreneurs, the main drivers of sustainable economic growth; it reasserts its active role in the international community, through creating opportunities for collaboration with participating delegations and establishing fruitful partnerships.

Source: Saudi Press Agency

Albudaiwi Welcomes UN Security Council’s Backing of the Israel-Gaza Ceasefire Plan

Riyadh: Secretary General of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) Jasem Mohamed Albudaiwi welcomed the UN Security Council’s adoption of the US-proposed Israel-Gaza ceasefire plan, according to a press release from the GCC General Secretariat.

Albudaiwi said that the adoption of this ceasefire resolution will contribute to ending the crisis in Gaza Strip and achieving security and stability in the region and the world.

He said that GCC countries ‘welcome all regional and international efforts to end the crisis in a way that ensures the security and peace of our Palestinian brothers’, and expressed appreciation for the US efforts in this context.

Moreover, he affirmed the constant positions of the GCC countries vis-à-vis the Palestinian cause, and their support for the establishment of an independent Palestinian state on the June 4, 1967, borders, with East Jerusalem as its capital, in accordance with the Arab Peace Initiative and international legitimacy.

Source: Saudi Press Agency