Unleashing the benefits of digital transformation for Palestinian economic growth

The World Bank released a report on the Palestinian Digital Economy Assessment which looks at the state of the digital economy, identifies opportunities, and provides recommendations on reforms that can help accelerate digital transformation and, ultimately, economic growth. The report found that there is a high unemployment rate in the Palestinian economy (over a quarter of the population was unemployed in the second quarter of 2021) which could be addressed by promoting digital transformation and supporting a well-connected Palestinian economy. According to the report, network connectivity within the Palestinian territories is hindered by the restrictions of Israel on information and communication technology (ICT) equipment imports, spectrum allocation (currently limited to 2G in Gaza and 3G in the West Bank), and rights of way in Area C. ‘Investing in the Palestinian digital economy is more important than ever. Not only does it enhance its competitiveness and access to the global markets, providing jobs and a source of fiscal revenue, but it has also become vital in times of crisis. We have witnessed the significant move of many Palestinian businesses toward online channels during the COVID-19 pandemic,’ said World Bank Country Director for West Bank and Gaza Kanthan Shankar.