Ankara Forum to Promote Gaza Industrial Zone

Business reps from Israel, Turkey and the Palestinian Authority meet today to promote Gazan business

Business representatives from Israel, Turkey and the Palestinian Authority will meet today to promote a project to build a Turkish industrial park in the northern Gaza Strip on the Palestinian side of the Erez Industrial Zone.

The leaders will meet under the auspices of the Ankara Forum for Economic Cooperation Between Palestine, Israel and Turkey, which was established in 2005 in Ankara.

The plan would tranform the original park built by the Israelis into a "Palestinian Industrial Free Zone."

The Turks propose that an international concern manage the park in conjunction with the PA.

The company would lease the land from the PA for 99 years and supply companies in the industrial zone with electricity, natural gas, water, security and garbage collection services.

Israel would supply infrastructure support for 15 years or until the PA is able to supply it independently.

The park would be a free trade zone, and factories within it would be export-oriented. Companies operating within the zone would be exempt from paying taxes or customs and would export goods through the Ashdod port, also tax-free.

The parties are slated today to discuss improving business cooperation between Israel and the Palestinians with Turkish assistance. Participants in the meeting include Shraga Brosh, president of the Manufacturers Association; Mordechai Shapira, director general of Lahav; and Amiram Shore, chair of Exceptional New Technologies