Lead by Chairman & CEO Dr. Mohammad Mustafa, the Palestine Investment Fund (PIF) recently hosted a delegation from the World Bank. The meeting was held at the new headquarters of Amaar Real Estate Group, PIF’s real estate investment arm.
Amongst the attendance were Dr. Mirza Hasan, a member of the World’s Bank Middle East delegation; Rashad Rudolph Kildani, the Vice President of the International Finance Corporation (IFC); Shamshahad Akhdar, the World Bank’s Middle East & North Africa Vice President; James Bond, the head of operations for the Multilateral Investment Guarantee Agency (MIGA); David Greg, the head of the World Bank’s mission to Palestine; Yusef Habash, the IFC’s representative to Palestine; Sufyan Al-Issa, the personal advisor to the executive manager ; and Dina Abu Ghida, Vice President of the World Bank’s mission to Palestine.
The meeting’s purpose was to provide a detailed explanation of the current political and economic situations in Palestine, as well as to give the visiting delegation an opportunity to monitor the progress of its joint projects with PIF and explore other opportunities for future cooperation. Together, PIF and the World Bank aim to strengthen Palestine’s economy and develop an ideal environment for investment and sustainable job growth.
During the meeting, PIF presented an overview of its current projects.
The presentation began with an update on PIF’s flagship project in the telecommunications sector, Wataniya Mobile – which launched its commercial operations last month. The construction of Wataniya Mobile’s network was partially funded by IFC.
Furthermore, the delegation learned about PIF’s two pioneering real estate projects, the Al-Reehan and Jinan suburbs: Al-Reehan, which is being constructed on the outskirts of Ramallah,which entails the development of 2,000 new housing units. Meanwhile, Jinan will be built near the city of Jenin and comprise 1,000 new housing units.
The delegation also learned more about the Affordable Mortgage and Loan Company (AMAL), s a US$500 million mortgage guarantee facility to extend mortgage provision for Palestinian families that wish to own homes. IFC, which is a partner in this program, has contributed US$75 million towards its success.
Lastly, PIF shed light on its Loan Guarantee Facility, which by September of 2009 had already guaranteed approximately 183 loans worth US$42 million to small and medium-size enterprises. PIF also announced the launch of a US$50 million private equity fund – with US$10 million seeded by PIF – that will invest in small and medium-size enterprises in all economic sectors with a particulate focus on Internet Communications & Technology (“ICT”). This initiative will affirm PIF’s role as a pioneer in investment and development in Palestine.
After the presentation was complete, Dr. Mohammad Mustafa underscored the importance of cooperation in successfully implementing dynamic projects throughout Palestine. He alluded to PIF’s recent success in building strategic partnerships with companies by adhering to a transparent and international best practice approach in convincing Arab and international investors, from both the private and public sectors, to invest in Palestine.
For its part, the delegation expressed its admiration of PIF and its ability to launch strategic projects in the current political climate. It also praised PIF for reviving the private sector through a series of projects that will create jobs, improve the standard of living and empower a sustainably growing Palestinian economy.
Before leaving, the delegation complimented PIF for its professionalism and implementation of international standards of oversight and transparency, calling it a model example for financial and developmental institutions.