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Palestinians, Britain Sign Trade Partnership Agreement

Palestinians, Britain Sign Trade Partnership Agreement

Wednesday, 20 February, 2019 - 10:30
Britain's International Trade Secretary Liam Fox. (Reuters)
Ramallah, London - Asharq Al-Awsat
The United Kingdom’s Department for International Trade signed an interim trade and political partnership agreement with the Palestinian Liberation Organization (PLO) and joint declarations on rules of origin after the UK leaves the EU.

The partnership agreement, signed Monday at the headquarters of the Ministry of National Economy in Ramallah, aims at maintaining preferential conditions on trade and cooperation stipulated in the EU- PLO Interim Agreement.

It also provides a platform for further trade liberalization and enhancement of joint cooperation.

The agreement will contribute to facilitating trade exchange, making trade operations more liberal as is currently the case and after Brexit.

“The agreement will allow Palestinian companies to access the British market without a customs tariff, which in turn will support the Palestinian economy,” said Palestinian Minister of National Economy Abeer Odeh.

“This would benefit Palestinian producers in primary sectors, including exporters of fruits, nuts and vegetable fats, including dates and olive oil.”

“We are counting on this agreement to boost and develop bilateral economic and trade relations and establish economic partnerships between the Palestinian private sector and its British counterpart,” Odeh noted.

She explained that it will contribute to improving economic growth and creating promising currency opportunities that will reduce unemployment rates in Palestine and achieve high level of balance in terms of bilateral economic relations.

The minister also expressed her appreciation for the British position, which affirmed its commitment to international law, all the features contained in the 1997 Treaty on European Union and its stance regarding the illegal Israeli settlement in the occupied Palestinian territory that pose an obstacle in reaching peace.

UK Secretary of State for International Trade Liam Fox, for his part, said that a trade continuity agreement will see Palestinian businesses and consumers benefiting from continued trade after the UK leaves the European Union.

He pointed out that the UK-Palestinian Authority Agreement applies to the territory of the West Bank and the Gaza Strip.

Products produced in the Israeli settlements located within the territories brought under Israeli administration since June 1967 are not entitled to benefit from preferential tariff treatment.

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