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1% Initiative for Palestine ICT Sector

Feb. 1, 2018, midnight

1% Initiative for Palestine ICT Sector

A ground-breaking event for Palestine was held on Monday in Whitehall, in the offices of the UK Department for International Development (DFID) and simultaneously in DFID’s Jerusalem’s office.

The conference was attended by Ambassador Manuel Hassassian, Majdi Haj Khalil, the Palestinian Trade Representative to UK, the British Consul General, Philip Hall and Head of Economic Diplomacy, Michael Jilleh, DFID officials and a host of IT experts, including representatives from Everest Group, the leading outsourcing advisory firm.

This special event was organised to present Everest Group’s preliminary findings to investigate and assess Palestinian outsourcing potential in IT and business process services to British clients in a joint effort by the Palestinian Market Development Programme (PMDP), DFID, the UK Consulate-General Jerusalem and the EU Representative Office in Jerusalem, under the title of the 1% Initiative.

Other key attendees at the event were the Portland Trust, Founders and Coders and Palestine Information Technology Association (PITA).

The event was a great success and laid the ground for practical implementation of the project. Ambassador Manuel Hassassian thanked all involved for launching this initiative and stressed the importance of developing industries in Palestine, particularly in the ICT sector, which would help to reduce unemployment and curb poverty. He said that assisting and stabilising the economy in this way will compliment and support political negotiations and the eventual establishment of a Palestinian State.

The Ambassador highlighted the importance of the role of the Commercial Trade Representative and congratulated Majdi Haj Khalil for the energy and drive he is bringing to this key position in ensuring that Palestinian industries are very much on the radar of UK businesses. Since his appointment he has been the driving force behind a number of success stories including Palestine participating at the International Food Exhibition under the Palestinian flag for the first time, leading to lucrative contracts. In addition, he was instrumental to Palestine’s success at the World Travel Market, in collaboration with Palestine British Business Council (PBBC) as well as the development of the Business to Business (B2B) Initiative.

The Ambassador concluded by thanking DFID for its strong and consistent support. He also thanked DAI/PMDP for initiating such a worthy project which will help private sector development. He thanked The Portland Trust, PBBC, which is spearheaded by Antoine Mattar and Baroness Morris and everyone who had participated in the event and the important groundwork for it.

In his closing remarks, he said that he believed that, with the help of donors in these early stages, Palestinian industries will be given the impetus to develop on a sustainable level and make the Palestinian economy flourish.

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