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CBI presents Palestinian ICT companies

An ICT seminar organised by CBI during a recent high level forum gave Palestinian ICT companies the opportunity to present themselves to potential partners in the Netherlands, and has already delivered concrete results for two of them.

In late October the second edition of the Bilateral Cooperation Forum between the Netherlands and the Palestinian Authority was held in the Hague. It was a follow-up to the first Bilateral Cooperation Forum between the two countries, which was held in Bethlehem in 2013, and it covered several economic sectors. The Palestinian delegation, which was led by President Abbas, comprised a total of 200 participants.

ICT opportunities

On the second day of the Forum, and in a separate break-out session, there was a CBI-organised seminar called “ICT opportunities for the Middle East and Gulf Region”. During this seminar seven ICT service providers from the West Bank and Gaza regions introduced themselves to representatives of Dutch software companies that are in search of partners and new export markets in the Gulf region. All these Palestinian companies are taking part in a CBI Export Coaching Programme (ECP) for the ICT sector.

Potential partners

During the seminar, which was moderated by CBI’s ICT expert Paul Tjia, the Palestinian companies outlined the many opportunities the region could offer in the area of outsourcing. These include ways in which Palestinian companies could offer potential Dutch partners cost savings though innovation, for example, or simply provide the kind of ICT expertise that was either not available in the Netherlands or in short supply.

Results

Tangible results were also booked. After the CBI seminar, and in the presence of the Netherlands’ Minister for Foreign Trade and Development Cooperation, Lilianne Ploumen, Memorandums of Understanding (MoU) were endorsed between two Palestinian companies and clients from the Netherlands.

First Dutch client

Exalt, one of the presenting Palestinian companies and a participant of the CBI ECP, hooked up with a Dutch company called Fanack, which has since become its first Dutch client. Fanack is an independent online media organisation in the Netherlands that publishes and disseminates balanced and informed analyses about the Middle East and North Africa. Together with Ramallah-based Exalt, Fanack is currently working on a mobile app that it now plans to launch in the short term.

Increased employment

Based in Gaza, Unit One IT was invited to participate in the forum on the strength of its successful dealings with international companies and the implementation of several international web and mobile app development projects. The company signed an MoU with a Dutch company to collaborate on specialised projects and business-process outsourcing. Unit One IT expects the MoU to result in increased employment in the local communities, as well as an experience boost for its graduate employees.