FACTBOX-Key Palestinian economic indicators

Thu Mar 26, 2009 8:24am EDT
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RAMALLAH, West Bank (Reuters) - A plan by Israel's prime minister-designate Benjamin Netanyahu to put economic development for the Palestinians ahead of statehood has been greeted with skepticism by West Bank entrepreneurs.

Here are some key facts about the Palestinian economy and some of the leading Palestinian companies:

* The economy has shrunk since 1999, from a GDP of $4.511 billion to $4.133 in 2007.

* GDP per capita stood at $1,177 in 2007.

* Unemployment in the West Bank and Gaza Strip in 2007 was estimated at 21.5 percent, rising to 27.3 percent in the third quarter of 2008.

* The new Israeli shekel is the standard currency in the West Bank and Gaza. The Jordanian dinar and the U.S. dollar are also accepted. Annual shekel inflation is currently about 3.5 percent.

* Principal exports are limestone and marble, olive oil, medical herbs, flowers, drugs and other commodities, with a total value of $392 million in 2007, compared to $401 million in 2000.

* There are 21 banks operating in Palestinian territories with 195 branches: 10 Palestinian banks, eight Jordanian, two Egyptian and one foreign. The total paid up capital of the banks is $650 million, with total assets of $7.4 billion, and total credit facilities of $1.8 billion and $5.7 billion in deposits.

Here are some of the leading Palestinian companies:   Continued...