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The Japanese Government has provided over €464,000 to support two companies operating in the Jericho Agro Industrial Park (JAIP): Hawamdeh, and Rihana. These companies are the third and fourth beneficiaries under the Palestinian Authority's PRIDE (Partnership for Regional Investment, Development & Employment) Programme of Incentives to JAIP. The Japanese contribution is being channelled through the PEGASE mechanism.
"Supporting the Palestinian Industry, the competitiveness of SMEs and job creation are amongst the key priorities of the EU in Palestine”" said the EU Representative Ralph Tarraf. "We are pleased to work hand in hand with Japan to support the efforts of the Palestinian Authority to develop Jericho Agro Industrial Park. This industrial park is opening economic opportunities for Palestinian companies and new jobs for Palestinian youth particularly in the Jordan valley ", he added.
"The Government of Japan appreciates the partnership with EU and the Palestinian Authority to provide assistance for the tenants at the Jericho Agro-Industrial Park (JAIP)” said the Ambassador for Palestinian Affairs and the Representative of Japan to Palestine Takeshi Okubo. “JAIP is a dream project that has the potential to benefit the entire region. At a time like this when violence, destruction, and humanitarian crises are daily occurrences in the Middle East, what JAIP symbolizes is hope―hope that collaboration is still possible, hope that we can all work together for peace and economic growth.” he added.
In order to attract investment in JAIP, the Palestinian Authority (PA) is offering a range of incentives, including tax breaks, to its tenants. In this context, it has established a programme called PRIDE to provide financial assistance to JAIP tenants to help them start their operations in the park. The EU has set up a Pegase programme aimed at channelling funds to the abovementioned PA PRIDE programme (EU support: EUR 2 million, Government of Japan support: EUR 3.2 million). The programme provides financial assistance to eligible JAIP tenants to purchase equipment, machinery, tools and building materials for their operations in the park.
Hawamdeh is providing the local market with 1.5 and 0.5 litres bottled drinking water produced in accordance with international quality standards. It also aims to export its production. Thanks to modern and sophisticated systems, water is extracted from springs in and around Jericho. Jericho natural mineral water is known for its high quality and beneficial properties.
Rihana is producing high quality frozen food products in compliance with international standards. It targets the local and regional markets. The raw material, fresh fruits and vegetables, is directly supplied by Palestinian farmers from the Jordan River Valley. Rihana factory has already started producing French fries. Rihanna is also planning to produce potato wedges, frozen Vegetables and frozen and dried fruits.
Most of the European Union's assistance to the Palestinian Authority is channelled through PEGASE, the financial mechanism launched in 2008 to support the PA Reform and Development Plan (2008-2010) and subsequent Palestinian national plans. As well as helping to meet a substantial proportion of its running costs, European funds support major reform and development programmes in key ministries, to help prepare the PA for statehood. Since February 2008, around €2.0 billion have been disbursed through the PEGASE Direct Financial Support programmes. In addition, the EU has provided assistance to the Palestinian people through UNRWA and a wide range of cooperation projects.
Japan has strongly been supporting economic development efforts exerted by key ministries both financially and technically in order to help Palestinians prepare for the future statehood. With this in mind, Japan has been extending such assistance to JAIP, a flagship project of Japan’s “Corridor for Peace and Prosperity” initiative launched in 2006. Furthermore, Japan has been providing support through humanitarian assistance provided by UNRWA, UNICEF and other UN agencies, as well as grassroots development projects through local organizations. The Government of Japan has so far provided approximately USD 1.8 billion worth of assistance to Palestine since 1993.
 Mécanisme Palestino-Européen de Gestion de l'Aide Socio-Economique (PEGASE)
The Office of the European Union Representative:
Shadi Othman (02 5415 867, 0599 673 958)
Representative Office of Japan to the Palestinian Authority:
Shoko Hanzawa: 059 291 9170, Nezar Marouf: 02 241 3120/1