British government's £15 million project to support Palestinian businesses

The British government is launching a £15-million plan to aid Palestinian businesses.

UK International Development Minister Alan Duncan met Palestinian businessmen and women at the Hebron Chamber of Commerce this week to unveil the Palestinian Market Development Programme.

The scheme is designed to support Palestinian firms in develop ing products targeted at new markets, expecting to generate at least £40 million in additional sales by 2019. Specific initiatives include providing grants, market analysis, commercial support and technical assistance.

Mr Duncan said: “I have seen first-hand the entrepreneurial spirit and resilience of the Palestinian people… It is economic growth and job creation that will allow Palestinians to lift themselves out of poverty and create a more prosperous, stable future and this is something the British people can be proud to support.”

According to the Department for International Development the project “is a key part of the UK’s wider efforts to support Palestinian state building, tackle poverty and unemployment and boost stability”.

The UK has put £11 million towards the programme, with the remainder £4.3 million being provided by the European Union.

Last updated: 1:53pm, April 10 2013