(English version)

Durant la dernière décennie, la région MENA a fait l’expérience d’une croissance économique et démographique considérable, qui devrait continuer dans le futur. La demande d’énergie dans ces diverses régions (composée d'importateurs et d’exportateurs d’énergie) se développe entre 3% et 8% par an. En réalité, la demande d’énergie s’élève si rapidement dans le monde Arabe que même les pays qui ont traditionnellement exporté de l'énergie dans le passé sont confrontés à la perspective de devenir eux-mêmes des importateurs d’énergie. La courbe suivante montre la demande croissante d’électricité dans la région Arabe à travers le temps, plus précisément au sein du Conseil de Coopération du Golfe.


لا بد من إشراك المغتربين لإطلاق الطاقات البشرية غير المستغلة خاصةً وقت الأزمات


اظهرت دراسة لمجموعة البنك الدولي في مطلع العام 2017 حول الدور الذي يمكن أن يلعبه المغتربون في تعزيز التكامل الاقليمي والاقتصادي ونشرت تحت عنوان "حشد جهود المغتربين من منطقة الشرق الأوسط وشمال أفريقيا من أجل تحقيق التكامل الاقتصادي وريادة الأعمال" أن المغتربين من بلدان الشرق الأوسط وشمال أفريقيا يمكنهم القيام بدور بالغ الأهمية في تعزيز التكامل الإقليمي وريادة الأعمال والنمو الاقتصادي في المنطقة، كما يمكنهم مساعدة بلدانهم على أن تصبح من الأطراف الفاعلة الرئيسية في الاقتصاد العالمي.

(Version française)

Over the past decade, the MENA region has experienced considerable economic and population growth, which is only expected to continue in the future. The demand for power in this diverse region (comprised of energy importers and exporters) is expanding between 3% and 8% annually. In fact, the demand for energy is rising so rapidly in the Arab world that even countries which have traditionally exported energy in the past are facing the prospect of becoming energy importers themselves. The following figure shows the increasing demand for electricity overtime in the Arab region, especially in the Gulf Cooperation Council.


Tech gurus from Uber, Google, SoundCloud, Microsoft and 500 Startups have visited Gaza on their own dime as volunteers to mentor startups.


by Christopher M. Schroeder*


If you have any doubt that near-universal access to tech is helping a new generation take control of their own lives, solving problems and building opportunity from the bottom-up everywhere — that “near-universal” means it’s not a phenomenon of the elite, but unleashing talent anywhere it resides — come to Gaza.

We’ve all seen it on the news. Gaza is a land of closed borders, three terrible conflicts in seven years and among the highest unemployment rates anywhere.

At the same time, and even with spotty and irregular electricity, it also has one of the higher levels of education and internet access in the Arab world. More than two-thirds of Gazans are under 24, and nearly all have high written and computing literacy. If the definition of a great entrepreneur is one who thrives in working through and around challenges and creating innovative solutions, it’s no surprise that Gaza is chock-full of them. Half of them, by the way, are women. And they are fighting for better futures there and across the region.

As in most nascent rising startup ecosystems in emerging markets, the pulling together of talent, their ideas, skills, mentoring and capital takes concerted work. In 2011, the global NGO Mercy Corps founded the co-working space Gaza Sky Geeks as an initial effort to convene young entrepreneurs. In 2013, two people joined to take it to a new level: Iliana Montauk, a Silicon Valley native with extensive experience in the Middle East, and Said Hassan, a former employee from the region’s largest e-commerce player, Souq.com, who had just returned home to Gaza.

What, they asked, if there were an acceleration program so prevalent in Silicon Valley and now around the world right there in Gaza? They cultivated the first class of investments by the end of that year. By 2014, more than 600 entrepreneurs applied to their efforts — double from the previous years combined. More recently, Ryan Sturgill, who launched an incubator in Afghanistan and has extensive experience in advising startups across the Middle East, joined as the new director building on its success to date.

Gaza Sky Geeks finds some of the leading startup ideas and entrepreneurs and connects them with mentors, training and coaches to help them turn these concepts into businesses. They also run a network of local freelancers so young people can earn income part-time by doing gig economy work online across the region. Plans are in the works to launch a coding academy to teach young Gazans not just how to code but why to code — what real-world application can software be brought to bear to create new opportunities. The offices are equipped with their own fiber lines and sufficient fuel to power their generators — and keep high-speed internet up — at least 12 hours a day, seven days a week.

It doesn’t take a lot of capital to get an idea into motion. Entry-level software engineers command $100,000 to $150,000 a year in Silicon Valley, but less than $4,800 in Gaza. With access to the web, this talent is significantly self-taught — accessing the best programming classes from around the world, gathering together in hackathons to improve their skills and partnering with other investors and accelerators in the region, like Oasis500 and PALinnO in neighboring Jordan.

What are these young women and men building? Everything you’d expect anywhere in the world today, often with a local flavor. 5QHQH is a platform to create and share funny online content in Arabic. Baskalet is a gaming studio aimed at Arab culture. MockApp offers professional designers apps to create prototypes, share them and manage projects. KooKies is a community of cooking enthusiasts that also provides access to home-delivered ingredients to create new recipes. Health care, ed-tech, e-commerce and more are all there, driven by a rise in consumer spending and ubiquitous access to mobile.

Inspired by Gaza’s geeks, and understanding the impact that entrepreneurs can have in bettering people’s lives and their economies, Silicon Valley and other global tech hubs have taken note. Tech gurus from places like Uber, Google, SoundCloud, Microsoft, 500 Startups, Endeavor Global, Udacity, Hitachi and more have visited Gaza on their own dime as volunteers to mentor these startups.

Complementing funders like Google, the Coca-Cola Foundation, Skoll and local players, Gaza Sky Geeks leveraged this support and track record to run its first crowd-funding campaign to help fund operations in 2014. They hoped to raise $70,000, but raised over $267,000 within weeks, and from more than 60 countries.

Last month, they kicked off their second campaign, Power Up Gaza Geeks, this time with matching contributions from regional ecosystem leaders like the founder of the largest VC firm there, Fadi Ghandour of the Wamda Group, and Samih Toukan, who founded one of the earlier successful exits in the Arab world and now chairs Jabbar Internet Group. In addition, matches are coming from the likes of 500 Startups co-founder Dave McClure, Y Combinator founder Paul Graham, Foundry Group and TechStars managing director Brad Feld and Crowdpac co-founder Gisel Kordestani. Just yesterday, Salesforce founder Marc Benioff and “Lean Startup” author Eric Ries joined the campaign match.

This campaign was launched to buy a generator and fuel to extend the co-working hub’s hours in response to Gaza’s most severe energy shortage to date. In addition, they are raising funds to launch Gaza’s first coding academy.

Ghandour built Aramex, the largest tech-powered logistics company in the Arab world and perhaps the first true “unicorn” before the term was used. As a go-to investor in the Arab world, he has seen everything. “This is what we do at the Wamda Group,” Ghandour explains. “We support entrepreneurs and we help nurture the ecosystem in the region. Gaza Sky Geeks is where techies come to get their dose of hope in achieving part of their ambitions under a blockade system that punishes everyone. This is about Gazan Geeks becoming entrepreneurs and building businesses like everyone else around the world. It is ambitious, talented youth exploring, venturing and succeeding.”

McClure, who now operates funds in nearly every core emerging market, told me, “Gazans are smart people working on ideas for companies, and to some extent they have even more hustle than I’ve seen elsewhere, because they’re working in such a tough environment. They may actually be some of the best entrepreneurs in the world.”

One of the greatest and least understood stories of our times is not only that a new generation — everywhere — is solving problems themselves and not waiting for anyone to give permission, but has for the first time the tools in their pockets to do so at scale and affordably.

And nothing stands in their way. Said himself is living proof. His home was destroyed during the 2014 Israel-Gaza conflict. Israeli shelling destroyed his whole neighborhood, including the U.N. building across the street from his home, where his father had previously worked. Said was able to evacuate with his laptop and returned to Gaza Sky Geeks, living in a friend’s house and back to work in a matter of days.

This story in Gaza is hopeful in and of itself, but a lens for prosperity and paths to futures everywhere. What I have seen has convinced me to be an adviser to them and their entrepreneurs and support their campaigns. They are deeply worthy.


The original article is published at the following link

*Christopher M. Schroeder is a U.S.-based venture investor, tech entrepreneur and the author of “Startup Rising: The Entrepreneurial Revolution Remaking the Middle East.” Reach him @cmschroed.


**This article is so interesting that we would like to share it with our readers.

By: Carlo Maria Rossotto and Xavier Decoster


(This article is published originally at: http://thisweekinpalestine.com/?s=economy


A World Bank report issued in February 2016 estimates that over the last three years the total accumulated revenue from the Palestinian mobile sector would have been over US$ 1 billion higher if the restrictions on this sector had been lifted. The associated fiscal losses of the Palestinian Authority (for the same period) are estimated at as high as US$ 184 million, counting non-collected VAT alone. This amount equals up to 3 percent of the GDP.


ايمن ابو الخير

هل نحن في مرحلة اجتياز الاقتصادي المهيمن القائم على أساس المصانع الكبيرة والشركات متعددة الجنسيات إلى عالم يقوم على حرية الاختيار، الذي سيتمكن فيه الكيانات الصغيرة من المنافسة مع الشركات الكبيرة،وبالتالي ستساهم في تشكيل اقتصاد المستقبل؟ هل نحن فعلا بصدد عبور الاقتصاد "التناظري" الحقيقي الى الاقتصاد الافتراضي، ام ان الانتقال سيكون من الاقتصاد الافتراضي الى الاقتصاد الحقيقي؟

By Ayman Abualkhair


Are we in a stage of passing the dominant economic age, based on large factories and multinational companies, to a world predicated on freedom of choice, in which small entities would have the potential to compete with large companies, and hence shape the future economy? Are we crossing the age of a real economy to a virtual one, or is it moreover transitioning from a virtual economy to a real economy?

مجلة الشرق الاوسط للأعمال - ميدل ايست بزنس

هي ليست مجرد شجرة، يُستفاد من كل اجزاءها، تُغني زارعها، تشفي آكلها، وتحمي الأرض من تحتها وترفع اعمدة الحضارات فوقها... انها شجرة النخيل وثمارها من الرطب والتمر. جاء في القرآن الكريم: 

﴿وَهُوَ الَّذِي أَنشَأَ جَنَّاتٍ مَّعْرُوشَاتٍ وَغَيْرَ مَعْرُوشَاتٍ وَالنَّخْلَ وَالزَّرْعَ مُخْتَلِفًا أُكُلُهُ وَالزَّيْتُونَ وَالرُّمَّانَ مُتَشَابِهًا وَغَيْرَ مُتَشَابِهٍ كُلُوا مِن ثَمَرِهِ إِذَا أَثْمَرَ وَآتُوا حَقَّهُ يَوْمَ حَصَادِهِ وَلَا تُسْرِفُوا إِنَّهُ لَا يُحِبُّ الْمُسْرِفِينَ﴾(الأنعام141).

Palestinian Industrial Estates and Free Zones Authority announces the completion of PALOLEA Olive Leaf Extract factory at JAIP.


15 Mar 2015


Economy of Palestine

The Palestinian economy is small and relatively open, although several large holding companies dominate some sectors. Because of the small size of the local market, access to foreign markets through trade is essential for private sector growth.

Restrictions on the movement and access of goods and people between the West Bank, the Gaza Strip, and external markets imposed by the Government of Israel  continue to have a deleterious effect on the private sector and limit economic growth.

During the second Intifada the Palestinian economy experienced the deepest recessions in modern history. In those two years, Palestinian real GDP per capita shrunk by almost 40 percent. The precipitator of this economic crisis was again a multi-faceted system of restrictions on the movement of goods and people.

Nevertheless, the Palestinian economy continued to exhibit some degree continuity and resilience. The proliferation of small business projects and informal economic activities have contributed to it weathering and adapting to the difficult conditions.

The services sector constituted the largest one in the West Bank economy in Q3/2014, accounting for 19.3% of GDP. This sector was followed by wholesale and retail trade (17.6%) and mining, manufacturing, electricity and water (16.4%).

The services sector constituted the largest one in the West Bank economy in Q3/2014, accounting for 19.3% of GDP. This sector was followed by wholesale and retail trade (17.6%) and mining, manufacturing, electricity and water (16.4%). - See more at: http://unispal.un.org/UNISPAL.NSF/0/1695268E83B78ACA85257E20004E79EF#sthash.WD82sd9V.dpuf

In the Gaza Strip the largest sector of the economy in 2013 was construction, followed by services and public administration. Together, these three sectors account for more than 70% of total GDP. Productive sectors such as agriculture and manufacturing contribute relatively little to total GDP in the Gaza Strip.

The West Bank and Gaza have both experienced economic progress since the Oslo Accords but structural differences between the two areas remain.

Between 1995 and 2000, the Palestinian economy was growing at an average rate of 6% per year. If that trend had continued after 2000, when restrictions intensified, real GDP may have been more than double its current value to reach over $8 billion.

Following a long-term trend, Gazan nominal GDP per capita in 2012, at $1,565, remains around half that of the West Bank ($3,196).

While there are a number of common factors constraining development in both areas (e.g. limited access to water and energy, restrictions on movement and access, and poor infrastructure), such factors are significantly amplified in Gaza. Partly due to these restrictions, the slowdown in economic activity observed in 2012 was stronger in Gaza, where GDP growth fell from 21% in 2011 to less than 7% in 2012.

Although Palestine has very limited natural resources, it still has a highly renewable human capital resource. 57% of the population under the age of twenty and the rate of 65% under the age of twenty-fifth means an increase in the labour force, including a total of 500,000 workers in the next five years. This is in addition to the potential inherent in the working women's race, which is considered a strategic reserve for the labour force. This tendency has its impact on the availability of young labour force and an incentive for more investments in the economy.

Palestinian diaspora

The estimated one million Palestinians who have emigrated since 1948 (as well as their children) serve as a vital lifeline for Palestinians who remain in the West Bank and Gaza Strip. As a percentage of its GDP, the Palestinian territories are one of the most dependent economies in the world on remittances. The latest data from IMF in 2010 shows US$ 431m being transferred by workers employed abroad.


Essential Information

Area: 6,257 sq km (West Bank 5,879 sq km; Gaza 378 sq km).
Population: 4.4 million (1.76 million Gaza, 2,68 million West Bank).
Capital: East Jerusalem.
Principal Towns: Ramallah, Nablus, Jenin, Tulkarm, Hebron (West Bank), Gaza , Deir al-Balah (Gaza Strip).
Languages: Arabic and English are the main languages.
Gross Domestic Product: $6.797 billion (20 1 2)
GDP per capita: $641 (2012 est.)
Climate: The temperature range over the summer months of April to October is 23 degrees C to 31 degrees C. During winter, November to March, the temperatures range from 15 degrees to 20 degrees C with frequent rainfall.
Currency: $1 ≈ 3.63 new Israeli shekels (ILS), Jordanian Dinar, Dollar and Euro are also used.
Palestinian Territory: 4,4 million (2012 est.).
Population Gaza Strip:  1,8 million.
Population West Bank:  2,7 million.
Note: approximately 311,431 Israeli settlers live in the West Bank (2010 est.); approximately 186,646 Israeli settlers live in East Jerusalem (2009 est.)
Population growth rate: 2.1% (2012 est.)
Literacy ratio: total population: 92.4%
The total number of Palestinians in the World: 10,341,824, they are distributed as the following: (Palestinian territories 4.2 million, or 37%, Israel 1,2 million or 11.5%, Jordan 3,1 million or 30%, Other Arab Countries 1,7 million or 16.3%, Other Foreign Countries 593,580 or 5.7%).
0-14 years: 34.4%
15-24 years: 21.8%
25-54 years: 35.9%
55-64 years: 4.2%
65 years and over: 3.8%
0-14 years: 43.5%
15-24 years: 20.9%
25-54 years: 29.6%
55-64 years: 3.4%
65 years and over: 2.6%
Fossil Fuel

 Independence day 15 November


Current local time Weather

Diplomatic representation of Palestine to Switzerland

About Us

Enjoy the power of entrepreneurs' platform offering comprehensive economic information on the Arab world and Switzerland, with databases on various economic issues, mainly Swiss-Arab trade statistics, a platform linking international entrepreneurs and decision makers. Become member and be part of international entrepreneurs' network, where business and pleasure meet.




Contact Us

Please contact us : 

Cogestra Laser SA

144, route du Mandement 

1242 Satigny - Geneva