Palestinian women sit together at a newly opened upscale Italian cafe Ramallah. REUTERS/Ammar Awad
Your feedback is important to us!
We invite all our readers to share with us their views and comments about this article.
Disclaimer: Comments submitted by third parties on this site are the sole responsibility of the individual(s) whose content is submitted. The Daily Star accepts no responsibility for the content of comment(s), including, without limitation, any error, omission or inaccuracy therein. Please note that your email address will NOT appear on the site.
Alert: If you are facing problems with posting comments, please note that you must verify your email with Disqus prior to posting a comment. follow this link to make sure your account meets the requirements. (http://bit.ly/vDisqus)
The Palestinian economy is crippled by restrictions on trade, investments and access to natural resources, but driving around Ramallah you might get the impression it's booming.Helping drive the appearance of wealth in the West Bank city, just 9.6 kilometers from Jerusalem, is the emergence of a consumer loan market that was all but nonexistent just a decade ago. Its growth can be attributed to a 2008 law that forced banks operating in the Palestinian territories – which preferred to lend their money abroad – to extend at least 40 percent of their credit to locals. Unemployment in the West Bank and Gaza is at about 30 percent (versus a low of 4.3 percent in Israel) and economic growth in the West Bank is expected to be about 2 percent in coming years, which won't be enough to keep up with population growth, according to the World Bank.
FOLLOW THIS ARTICLE