Locus Economica Founder and CEO Jean-Paul Gauthier has worked on Palestinian economic development issues on a number of occasions, including on an evaluation of its industrial and free zones frameworks for the World Bank’s Foreign Investment Advisory Service (FIAS) in 2007, and subsequently on a broader evaluation of its business and investment environment for Deloitte Consulting in 2010.
Following amendments to its zones’ legal framework in 2014 championed by FIAS since 2007, the Palestinian Industrial Estates and Free Zones Authority (PIEFZA) is involved in 5 projects, independently or in partnership. The first, Gaza Industrial Estate, hosted 68 tenants and MoUs with 18 tenants as of 2014. The second, Jericho Agro-Industrial Park, established in 2012, has 43 investors. Bethlehem Industrial City, a Franco-Palestinian joint venture, Phase I of which is expected to be completed by the end of 2019, and to create more than 500 direct jobs and investment of over $55 million, and Phase II to create an additional 1,500 jobs through a further $$55 million in investment. Jenin Industrial Free Zone, developed by a Turkish company and supported by KfW, at an infrastructure cost of $15 million. Finally, an industrial zone funded by Qatar is to be established east of Gaza City and projected to create up to 5,000 jobs.