The project concerns a feasibility study for the construction of an Industrial and Logistics area in Jenin, West Bank.
Jenin's strategic position
Jenin's position is logistically strategic: it is to the north of the West Bank, about 40 km from Haifa Harbor, 30 km from the Sheikh Hussein border in Jordan and 40 km from Syria; It is also 4 km away the highway that connects Haifa to Jordan.
The Jenin Governorate is a great reality of 583 km. It has a population of about 256,000, 11% of the total population, with 42% of the urban population, 54% rural and 4% living in refugee camps.
It is one of the country's most important economic areas: agriculture, cattle breeding, chemical, stone and marble industries, metal, furniture and wood industry. But it is certainly one of the richest and most fertile agricultural agrarians in the Middle East (legumes, olive trees, fruit trees, almonds and greenhouse crops) that can grow a flourishing agri-food industry.
The deterioration of the Palestinian economy
There is a general consensus that without development and economic prosperity there is no peace and vice versa.
All the analyzes show the disastrous state of the Palestinian economy and the poverty conditions of most of the population. The years of economic crisis and isolation, especially since the Intifada of 2000, have blossomed an already weak SME and microenterprise business fabric and have caused the emigration of many more qualified entrepreneurs, investors and human resources, both the loss of hope for a better future and the overall weakening of the social fabric.
Poverty is dramatically increasing and lack of jobs deprives a large number of families of essential means for their lust and aggravates the unstable political situation in this area. Violence situations become habitual and further damage the Palestinian economy already weakened in a never-ending cause-effect circulation.
Lack of future creates discomfort and dangerous frustration. In this case, young people are in fact the most vulnerable group since they are unable to enter the labor market and are driven to poverty, resulting in an aggravation of the general economic situation and consequently to foment dissatisfaction and to find A satisfaction in aggregating into subversive groups.
In Jenin alone there are about 5600 uneducated graduates and 13,400 students who are studying at various universities in the West Bank. They will not find work or hope to find it, thus fueling disturbing employment and emigration.
The limits of humanitarian aid
Considering what has already been done in international experiments, poverty reduction and real development can’t be achieved only with emergency aid and assistance leading the population to believe that they can always living from outside.
Humanitarian aid is the strongest support in Palestine, but a new and innovative strategy based on territorial growth, on the private sector and above all on the ability to exploit Palestine's enormous potential needs to be adopted.
In this context, attempts by the international community to engage in fast-growing economic development processes are likely to fail to deliver the expected results because there are no valid projects, local entities that can develop and are unclear the development models to be pursued .
The Strategic Development Plan of the area
Jenin's initiative aims to draw up an Integrated Development Strategic Plan for the Palestinian Governor of Jenin for the establishment of an industrial development area, as provided for in the Oslo Accords of 1993 and subsequently renewed in international agreements such as in bilateral meetings, in the decisive statement of the Quartet of May 2008.
A confirmation of Jenin's potential is provided by Jlbo Regional Council level, creating a similar industrial mirror area in order to create a large integrated area in the future. It has the premise which represents not only the achievement of an important economic result, but also on a political and diplomatic level.
The validity of the project
The project is related to Jenin's construction of an autonomous industrial park, involving a set of companies and logistic platforms. This initiative is the first pillar of the largest EuroMid Bridge project.
It is of great importance to the area involved and is an important occasion for:
- establish relations between the Palestinian and Israeli economies;
- improve safety through efficient control techniques following the movement of goods;
- to open the Palestinian economic enclave;
- encourage Palestinian economic diversification as a result of new trade agreements, new infrastructures and the adoption of increased productivity technologies;
- to generate, in a short time, the use of qualified and non-qualified resources;
- encourage independent industrial development projects from both energy and water supplies, using low environmental impact technologies.
The project covers an area of about 100 ha intended for industrial use and consists of the following subprojects:
- Industrial park (60% of the area)
- Logistics Area (25%)
- Surveillance area (5%)
- Area dedicated to alternative energy sources (5%)
- Water Installations
- Administrative area
- Power generation plants use both solar power and molecular restructuring of industrial and urban waste. These technologies will be able to ensure the self-sufficiency of supplies;
- Water management equipment, which captures rainwater from roofs and land and allows water recycling, guarantee 80% autonomy;
- adoption of the most advanced Security Controls technologies;
- The logistics area becomes the internal logistic platform of Haifa port that will allow a substantial reduction in the time needed for container control coming from occupied territories
Logistics will be modulated in accordance with a sophisticated study that evaluates all chances of finding Israeli checkpoints along the road and the characteristics of transport companies. This research is particularly important, as the mobility of goods between the West Bank and neighboring areas is one of the critical factors affecting the economic and social development of the whole Palestinian area.
It is believed that the investment can generate about 12,000 new direct job opportunities and indirect employment in the area of 5 times the direct effect. The projections show an average 6% GDP increase for the Jenin area and an impact of 20% increase in West Bank GDP, at current job mobility conditions. The return on investment is 13.1%
The environmental impact
The environmental impact of the industrial area is minimal. This is a fundamental prerequisite for accessing European Commission loans. Energy sustainability is a project goal pursued not only to reduce risk exposure to reductions in energy and water supply, but also to activate a process of autonomous and independent local development in line with emancipation and identity Hope for the Palestinian people.
The project impact
This project, which aims to develop the local economy of the Jenin and West Bank Governors, is easy to set up and extremely useful. It will only be available for Italian cooperation and not for other development agencies in other countries with activities in the Jenin area. This should allow Italian cooperation to enjoy a competitive advantage and to make Italy a leading player in sustainable development both in the Jenin and West Bank areas. It is also a unique opportunity to play a leading role in coordinating the political action of international actors at local level.
The economic returns
In light of the first investigations, one can calculate:
- Cost of the project: approximately 420 million euros
- Current investment value: € 842.63
- Internal rate of return: 16.07%
- Cost / Benefit Report: 2.62
The financial project
The project envisions a public-private partnership with at least 40% grants from the European Commission and a credit line for remaining costs from EIB financing for private companies channeled through Italian banks.