Ramallah, February 3rd, 2021. The Palestinian Energy and Natural Resources Authority hosted today a press conference to officially launch the project “ENHANCING THE BUSINESS ENVIRONMENT FOR THE MICRO, SMALL AND MEDIUM PALESTINIAN ENTERPRISES – EPEC”, in the presence of the Consul General of Italy Giuseppe Fedele, the Chairman of the Palestinian Energy and Natural Resources Authority Eng. Zafer Melhem, representative of the Italian Agency for Development Cooperation (AICS), of the Palestinian Chambers of Commerce and Industry, of the Ministry of Finance and the Ministry of National Economy.

EPEC is an initiative funded by AICS with a budget of EUR 2,500,000 over 2 years; the objective is to contribute to the improvement of the competitiveness of Palestinian micro, small and medium enterprises through activities that support Palestinian public institutions in enhancing the business environment and MSMEs’s productivity, with a special focus on access to renewable energies, also as a means to reduce production costs through lower energy dependence. In addition to supporting the capacity of the Ministry of Finance in designing and managing policies in support of private sector development, and the capacity of PENRA in facilitating the MSMEs’ access to renewable energy, EPEC will also allow for the establishment of a business register at the Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics (PCBS), with the technical support of the Italian National Institute of Statistics (ISTAT).

Micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) account for more than 90 percent of the productive structure in Palestine. These enterprises tend to face high costs of production, especially due to electricity costs, which constitute a huge burden negatively impacting MSMEs’ productivity and profitability. In ensuring better access to renewable energies for these enterprises, EPEC will support MSMEs in mitigating these problems and increasing competitiveness, while keeping with the main priorities identified in PENRA’s Comprehensive National Strategy 2017-2022for the Energy Sector in Palestine.

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