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Turkey to build tax-free industrial zone in Palestine

Turkey plans to build an organized industrial zone in the Palestinian city of Jenin in the West Bank, according to a new memorandum of understanding.

Turkish Science, Industry and Technology Minister Fikri Işık and Palestinian Deputy Prime Minister and National Economy Minister Mohammed Mostafa signed the deal late on Nov. 26. “This will not only be an organized industrial zone, but a free zone as well, offering unique advantages to all investors, whether they are Turkish, Palestinian or other,” Ahmet Şekeroğlu, board chairman of TOBBBIS Inc., told Anadolu Agency. The zone is going to be constructed by TOBB-BIS Inc., an affiliate of the Union of Chambers and Commodity Exchanges of Turkey (TOBB). “Investors will not pay any taxes. Moreover, they will be getting significant support from Turkey, Germany and the U.S.,” Şekeroğlu said. The goods produced in the zone will be available for export to world markets, including Germany, France, Saudi Arabia and the U.S., without any duties or quotas, he said. “The businesses will be insured by the World Bank, too,” he added. Işık said the TOBB project would allow Turkey and Palestine to build and operate further industrial zones across Palestine, as well as increase corporate capacity. “Within this framework, we will be sharing our know-how and 50 years of experience through training programs and workshops in Turkey,” he said. Another goal is to bring the legal framework and corporate capacity currently established in Palestine up to international standards, he added. Mostafa said Palestine needed a strong economy to be totally independent. “Palestine should be restructured and Palestinians should be provided adequate job opportunities,” he said, adding that industrialization was significant in this regard. The Jenin Organized Industry Zone is slated to be built on an area of 920,000 square meters, just 30 kilometers from Israel’s Haifa Port and the Jordan-Palestine border, according to TOBB.