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Canada Supports Economic Growth and Job Creation for Palestinian People

September 19, 2013 - Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird today announced, on behalf of the Honourable Christian Paradis, Minister of International Development, Canada’s new contribution to advance sustainable economic growth through job creation in the West Bank and Gaza. The announcement was made during the visit to Canada of Riad Malki, Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Palestinian Authority.

“Support to increasing economic opportunities for the Palestinian people is another expression of Canada’s commitment to the revitalized Middle East peace process,” said Baird. “Sustainable economic growth in the West Bank and Gaza is a key factor in social stability, regional security and the viability of a future Palestinian state.”

“Canada is funding initiatives to help the people of the West Bank and Gaza grow their economies, become more self-sufficient and create jobs for Palestinians,” said Minister Paradis. “Economic growth, driven by the private sector, is the number one way to break the cycle of poverty and unrest. A world where economic opportunities are within reach is a world with limitless potential for global prosperity.”

Today’s announcement complements Canada’s ongoing support of Palestinians to build the institutions and infrastructure necessary for a viable Palestinian state to be established as a result of an agreement negotiated between the parties.

This announcement comes in the lead-up to a meeting of the Ad Hoc Liaison Committee, members of which will meet in New York City next week to discuss further development coordination for the Palestinian people.

For more information on Canada’s development assistance to the West Bank and Gaza, visit Canada-West Bank / Gaza Strip relations.

A backgrounder follows.

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Backgrounder - Canada Supports Economic Growth and Job Creation in West Bank and Gaza

Today’s announcement of $5 million in support of sustainable economic development in the West Bank and Gaza will fund initiatives that help business development, improve economic opportunities and create jobs.

Working within established organizations, the new Canadian support will focus on two key elements of business development: entrepreneurship and innovation.

Funds will be allocated to support entrepreneurship, addressing the development of business networks, incubators and services that encourage collaboration among entrepreneurs, businesses, universities and investors to nurture and grow start-up firms. The initiative will leverage world-leading expertise, including that of Canada, to help Palestinians develop the networks and services required to promote new products and services, new processes and new companies that strengthen business sectors, including information and communications and technology.

Funds will also be allocated to support innovation. The initiative recognizes innovation as a driver of improved productivity and growth that leads to the creation of sustainable jobs and elevating living standards.