Palestinian Authority to hold investment conference

The Palestinian Authority on Thursday said it plans to host an investment conference in June.

PA EconomicsMinister Hassan Abu Libdeh said the conference in the town ofBethlehem seeks to pair local and foreign investors with small andmedium-sized businesses that make up most of the Palestinian economy.

Theconference jibes with the government's two-year plan to buildPalestinian institutions in preparation for independence, regardless ofprogress in peace talks with Israel.

Donors pledged $1.4 billionin the first conference in 2008. Not all of the money was delivered andmany projects were slow to get off the ground because of Israelirestrictions on Palestinian trade and movement. Some restrictions havesince been eased.