/

Japan, emerging Asian economies vow Palestinian state-building support

Kyodo

Japan and emerging Asian economies agreed Thursday to share their experience in economic development and regional integration with the Palestinian Authority for its nation-building efforts, with the focus on developing the private sector.

Participants in the Conference on Cooperation among East Asian Countries for Palestinian Development, or Ceapad, in Tokyo also agreed on the importance of enhancing human resources to realize a sustainable Palestinian economy.

Participants in Ceapad — the first such meeting hosted by Japan — included officials from Japan, Brunei, Malaysia, Singapore, South Korea, Thailand, Vietnam and Indonesia, including Indonesian Foreign Minister Marty Natalegawa.

Senior Vice Foreign Minister Shunichi Suzuki and Palestinian Prime Minister Salam Fayyad jointly chaired the meeting.

In a joint statement, the participants expressed concern about the current economic and financial situation in Palestine, saying it has presented an “obstacle” to state-building efforts and peace with Israel through the “two-state solution.”

They noted the importance of the role to be played by the private sector in developing the Palestinian economy and said they would consider holding an international conference of business leaders within the Ceapad framework in a bid to increase investment and trade, and develop small and midsize businesses.

Other participants included representatives of the League of Arab States, the Islamic Development Bank, the World Bank, and the U.N. Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East.

The second Ceapad meeting is expected to be hosted by Indonesia next year.