Improving access to finance for entrepreneurs and small businesses in Palestine: EU project holds workshop in Ramallah
February 13, 2017
A high-level roundtable discussion titled “What is needed from the financial sector to play a greater role in accompanying entrepreneurs and SME growth in Palestine?” was organised by the EU-funded project Enhancement of the Business Environment in the Southern Mediterranean Project (EBESM), in Ramallah on 8 February 2017.
Actions needed to enhance financial inclusion for Palestinian MSMEs (micro, small and medium enterprises) were discussed during the event. Policymakers including the Ministry of National Economy (MoNE) and SMEs Technical Committee chaired by the Palestine Monetary Authority (PMA), financial institutions and Microfinance Institutions, representatives of the private sector, think tanks, academia and civil society as well as entrepreneurs and EU experts discussed solutions to enhance access of Palestinian businesses to finance, based on the results of the EBESM study entitled “Assessment of Palestinian Policies to Facilitate Access to Finance for MSMEs“
During the seminar, major achievements of the MoNE and SMEs’ Technical Committee were presented, including the Law of Secured Transactions issued in April 2016, which established the legal grounds and modern systems to regulate the use of movable assets as collateral.
The SMEs technical committee set by the Palestinian Monetary Authority in 2013 achievements where presented, exemption of obligatory associated reserves; adoption of a unified definition of SMEs by the cabinet and extended by the PMA to banks; reduction of borrower down payment delay fines; and exemption for the banks from allocating 2% to the PMA obligatory reserves, if guaranteed.
Furthermore, participants discussed policies and measures needed to overcome challenges that are still hindering MSMEs access to finance in Palestine and help businesses to grow, be more competitive and create jobs.
As a follow up to this roundtable, priority actions, identified by stakeholders, will be kick-started with the technical support of the EBESM Project, such as modality of innovative guarantee fund and export financing schemes.
The EBESM project aims to contribute to the improvement of the business enabling environment for Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSME) in the ENP South through the strengthening of technical expertise and capacity of targeted public and private stakeholders.