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Palestine - France

Franco-Palestinian industrial park to open in West Bank

AFP

A Franco-Palestinian industrial park was inaugurated Thursday in the West Bank. The French minister of industry was present at the opening of the 20 hectare plot in the south of Bethlehem, the first of its kind.

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The French minister of industry Christian Estrosi said it cemented the “engagement of France with the Palestinian government for the economic development of Palestine."

The inauguration took place in the presence of the Palestinian economy minister Hassan Abou Lidbeh and several dozen other officials and industry figures.

The project aims to support the private sector, fight unemployment and attract French investment. It should be operational at the beginning of next year and allow the creation of between 500 and 1,000 jobs.

The park is a public-private partnership, to be built with 10 million euros from the French Development Agency. The French minister signed a financial agreement for the promotion of the private sector with his Palestinian counterpart and said France would give five million euros for the promotion of the Palestinian private sector.

Palestinian prime minister Salam Fayyad, an economist and former employee of the World Bank, wants to create a Palestinian state between now and August 2011.

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