Israel, PA economists meet after 7 years

Joint Economic Committee convenes; chairman says meeting an important step in building relations.

Ariav 224.88 (photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimski [file])
Ariav 224.88
(photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimski [file])
The Israeli-Palestinian Joint Economic Committee (JEC) headed by Finance Ministry Director-General Yarom Ariav and Palestinian Authority Prime Minister Salaam Fayad convened on Tuesday for the first time after a seven year hiatus, the Finance Ministry said Wednesday. The resuming of the JEC's activity is an important step in building the relationship between Israel and the PA, Ariav declared at the beginning of the meeting, adding that economic growth was a lever that could fortify ties. During the meeting, the two sides agreed on common guidelines for the committee's deliberations, and formulated the topics that would be up for discussion, including trade, import tax, infrastructure and mutual projects, the ministry said. The establishment of the JEC was mandated by the Paris agreements, which delineate the economic relations between Israel and the Palestinian Authority. The committee's purpose is to monitor economic issues of interest to both parties. From the Israeli side, in addition to Ariav, the meeting was attended by the head of the National Economic Council in the PMO, Professor Manuel Trajtenberg, Justice Ministry Director-General Moshe Shilo, the Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories Maj.-Gen. Yosef Mishlav and representatives of the Tax Authority, the Foreign Ministry and the Ministry of Industry Trade and Labor. The Palestinians were represented by Fayad, who is also PA finance minister, by the deputy finance minister, the head of the Palestinian tax authority and a representative of the Palestinian Authority Ministry of Planning.