Palestinian Authority's Biggest Companies
The Palestinian Authority or PNA (Palestinian National Authority) was formed with the sole purpose of having control over civilian and security issues related to the Palestinian urban areas. This organization has three branches - executive, judiciary, and legislative. After the Oslo agreements, the area was divided into A, B, and C areas. Area A is where the PNA has the authority (civilian and security). On Area B, Israel has security control and Palestine, the civilian control. On Area C Israel has full control. After the Battle of Gaza in 2007, the Palestinians lost control of the Gaza Strip, with the Hamas being in control of most of it. The European Union and the United States have been providing financial assistance to this organization. The situation between Palestinians and Israel has been a turbulent one, and many conflicts related to the Gaza strip had been witnessed by the world. As of 2010, what was intended to be a five-year organization, still exists. Many companies have been formed during the PNA existence.
After 2007, there have been reports of economic improvement in the West Bank. The Peace of Valley Plan has made possible efforts by Israel and the European governments to develop small industrial parks in the area. In 2008, funding from Germany helped develop the Bethlehem Small Enterprise Center. This center helps small businesses in the area.
In 2009, a new project to revamp tourism and travel has been on the works between Israel and Palestinian officials. In this same year, economic growth of about 7 percent has been reported. In the same year, Tourism in Bethlehem increased, and the car industry (imports) rose 44 percent. Jenin and Nablus have now a shopping mall each. The first modern city in Palestine is under plans of being developed - Rawabi.
The Gaza and the West Bank economy grew by nine and sixteen percent according to the International Monetary Fund. The financial sector continues to be reformed and now Palestinians have access to borrowing money easier, as an international banking and credit system have been established.
Some of the public companies for investment in Palestine are Ahliea Insurance Group, Al-Mezan Investment and Development Company, Al-Quds Bank for Development, Arab Company for Paint Products, Arab Care Medical Services, Arab Hotels Co., Arab Concrete Products, Arab Islamic Bank, Arab Investors Public LTD, and Arab Insurance Establishment. A number of Palestinian businessmen own PADICO, a company that controls the PEX (formerly known as Palestine Security Exchange - PSE). This holding company has eleven subsidiaries in the real estate, industrial, capital market, and tourism sectors. PADICO also owns Paltel, the Palestinian phone company.
It is expected that more growth continue in the economy of Palestine, especially if more investors pour their money in the growing industries. The biggest company in Nablus, Palestine is Palestine Communications and it has a $960 million market cap this year. Investors are being encouraged to pour their money in the Palestine growing economy. The stock market in Nablus has about 41 companies to invest. The future of Palestine will depend much on the eagerness of investors and the future political conditions.
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