State Department event honours Initiative for the Palestinian Economy
Thursday, May 01, 2014 in Office of the Quartet Representative
On 24 April, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry hosted a dinner at the State Department in Washington DC in recognition of the Initiative for the Palestinian Economy (IPE) – a major initiative led by the Office of the Quartet Representative that is designed to bring about transformative change and substantial growth in the Palestinian economy and create hundreds of thousands of new jobs.
Around 180 representatives from global companies and international organisations, along with Palestinian and Israeli businesspeople turned out for the dinner in the Benjamin Franklin Room at the Department of State. Among the guests were Norway's Foreign Minister Børge Brende, former U.S. Secretary of State and Chair of the Albright Stonebridge Group, Madeleine Albright, former World Bank President and Quartet envoy James Wolfensohn, and former Chair of the Federal Reserve Paul Volcker, to celebrate the Initiative for the Palestinian Economy.
Secretary Kerry addressed the event and lauded the teams behind the IPE, as did Palestinian Deputy Prime Minister Mohammed Mustapha, and Kito de Boer – a director at McKinsey & Co., which was involved in drafting the IPE. Quartet Representative Tony Blair praised Secretary Kerry’s determination to make progress on the political negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians, and set out the opportunities presented under the IPE.
The initiative is an ambitious, multi-year plan drafted by a team of policy advisors, external economic analysts and international domain experts under the leadership of Mr. Blair. It focuses on catalysing private sector-led growth in the West Bank, the Gaza Strip and East Jerusalem, and is spearheaded by the Jerusalem-based Office of the Quartet Representative (OQR). The success of the IPE relies heavily on the inflow of new financing into the Palestinian economy, in particular from the private sector, continued and significantly expanded Israeli easing measures and boosted institutional capacity within the PA.