Prime Minister of Saxony Stanislaw Tillich visits KAS Ramallah - Foundation Office Palestinian Territories
At the beginning of the program organized by the Konrad Adenauer Foundation in cooperation with the German Representative Office in Ramallah head of the KAS Ramallah Mr. Felix Dane gave the guests an understanding of the work of KAS in the Palestinian Autonomous Territories. Hereby, he explained the efforts of the office in the realm of the rule of law, economy, local affairs and civil society. The work is in particular aimed at establishing and promoting political and economic structures that prevent a power vacuum at the time of founding a Palestinian state and that allow for optimism about the future by the inhabitants of the Palestinian Autonomous Territories. KAS Ramallah has, jointly with its partner the Institute of Law at Birzeit University, developed a manual on economic law in order to provide a foundation for engagement of foreign investors in the Autonomous Territories and to thereby improve the economic situation.
Following Mr. Dane’s presentation former Palestinian Minister of Economic Affairs and human rights activist Bassim S. Khoury provided the visitors with a detailed overview of the economic conditions, as well as the situation of the Christian minority in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip. He pointed out the historic parallels between Saxony and the Palestinian Autonomous Territories and recognized the historic accomplishments of the German federal state in the realm of the reunification of Germany. Apart from that, Khoury encouraged increased investment and projects by German enterprises in the Palestinian Autonomous Territories. He further expressed his hope for a strong German engagement in the resolution of the conflict to enable political, economic and cultural development of the region. In his function as Minister of Economic Affairs, board member and chief executive of the Palestinian Federation of Industries, as well as a businessman Khoury has acquired a high economic competence and acquaintance of regional conditions. Therefore, he succeeded well in pointing out the manifold investment opportunities for German and in particular Saxon firms and in countering the partly negative image of the Autonomous Territories in the world. In this realm Khoury repeated his hope to be able to welcome more frequently German business delegations in the Autonomous Territories.
After the detailed illustration and remarks by the former Palestinian Minister of Economic Affairs Prime Minister of Saxony Tillich, as well as members of his delegation took advantage of the meeting with Khoury by asking questions about the situation of the Christian minority in the Palestinian Autonomous Territories and about the economic developments. Being part of the Sorbian minority Prime Minister of Saxony Tillich cares in particular about the circumstances of the Christian minority.
As Saxony has experienced a positive economic development in the last years and aims at intensifying foreign trade, Khoury, Tillich and other delegation members discussed the questions of the safety of investment and of the economic future of the Autonomous Territories. Khoury underlined in particular that the Autonomous Territories are characterized by a high degree of legal security and by a well-developed banking system. All in all, according to Khoury, not a lack of investment capital, but the absence of ideas for forward-looking projects hampers the economic development. At the same time he emphasized that a political solution of the conflict with Israel, as well as concerning the intra-Palestinian disagreements have to be found to allow for a prosperous and peaceful future. Khoury, Tillich and the other members of the delegation agreed that both political and economic initiatives need to go along to ensure long-term stability and development.
Following the discussion Prime Minister of Saxony Mr. Stanislaw Tillich offered a bowl of Meissen porcelain to former Palestinian Minister of Economic Affairs Bassim S. Khoury.