First ever Palestinian-Egyptian automobile company sponsored by Gaza Strip Investment Fund opens

MEMO-Middle East Monitor

17 January 2013

A Palestinian-Egyptian company has just opened its doors in the Gaza Strip. It is the first of its kind operating in the modern automobile sector and falls within the framework of the Gaza Strip Investment Fund.

The opening ceremony was attended by a number of influential individuals in the industry, automotive traders, businessmen, and Gaza officials, as well as Gaza residents and singers.

Kamel Abu-Madi, Vice Chairman of the Palestinian Investment Fund, stated that this new company had been established to serve the residents. He mentioned that some may demand that the automobile commercial sector be left alone; however, when traders were permitted to bring in vehicles, they committed unacceptable violations. Therefore, the intervention of the Investment Fund was necessary for the benefit of the residents, and the burden on the citizen has been significantly lightened.

Speaking to "Sama", Dr. Osama Al-Eisawi, Minister of Transportation for the Gaza government, asserted that the new company "adds to the quality of the companies working to provide business services to the citizens, specifically those in the automobile industry, due to the fact that it supports the private sector rather than competing with it."

Moreover, he stated that the Investment Fund, through the help of the Palestinian Egyptian company, aims to support Palestinian citizens, meet their needs and structure matters in technical and administrative terms.

He added that his ministry had not permanently closed down automobile showrooms, but had suspended them temporarily in order to ensure they provide a quality of services fit for Palestinian citizens.

On his part, the Minister of National Economy for the Gaza government, Dr. Ala'a Al-Refati, told "Sama" that this company does not compete with the private sector; rather its purpose is to enhance its capabilities and protect it from many of the problems that have occurred in the past.

He also said that this company is a Palestinian Investment Fund company established to reinforce the government's guidelines for controlling vehicle trade.

Additionally, he declared that the government is seeking to enhance relations between Arabs, as this is the first time since the Israeli blockade that a relationship with the Arab Republic of Egypt has been formed through this Palestinian-Egyptian automobile company.

Furthermore, Mr. Mohammad Mousa Jadallah, Chairman of the Palestinian Investment Fund, stated that the opening of this company was in coordination with their fellow Egyptians and under the direction of the Palestinian government in Gaza, as well as the Palestinian Legislative Council in the field of consumer protection and the provision of vehicles for the Palestinian people.

He also stated that this lowers the monopolizing price in the market by at least 5 to 6 thousand dollars in favour of the citizen, adding that the Occupation has allowed the entry of a large number of vehicles after relations were improved with Egypt in this industry.

Jadallah added that this company is a part of the private sector and serves it, along with the other vehicle traders. It is not a showroom for the government, nor for the Palestinian Investment Fund, but for the citizens and private companies. Its purpose is to advertise the true price of vehicles to Palestinian citizens in agreement with the private sector, making a small profit not exceeding $800.

Moreover, he said that the Egyptian delegation that was supposed to attend the opening of the company was late due to technical difficulties. The consultant, Mr. Hassan Abu-Riyalah, head of the chamber of commerce board, affirmed that this company was able to break the monopoly situation and offer a true service to the citizens. In addition, it is able to clear the reputation of Palestinian companies by eliminating the phenomena of stolen vehicles from the Egyptian side.

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