Sir Ronald Cohen, one of the world's leading private-equity investors and head of the Portland Trust, has stressed the key role that the economy plays in the Middle East conflict. Speaking at a B-ICC business breakfast last week, the Egyptian-born businessman said the economic dimension of the conflict in the Middle East is "one that has been neglected over the years. If you want to encourage trade between the UK and Israel, you need to contribute to the broader picture."
The Portland Trust is working to boost the economy in the West Bank and has established a $1bn programme to build 15,000 homes in the area by 2013. The initiative will create thousands of new jobs.