The Palestinian economy is built around agriculture and small scale industries. The economy relies on Israel, which controls all movement of goods, services, people and finances into and out of the Palestinian terroritories. Jordan is the key re-export market after goods transit through Israel.
Palestine exports hard commodities (27 percent), fruits and vegetables (9 percent), iron and steel (5 percent), furniture (5 percent), footwear (5 percent), tobacco (5 percent), wood (3 percent), vehicles (3 percent) and fertilizer (3 percent).
It imports hard commodities (10 percent), petroleum (10 percent), cereals (5 percent), iron and steel (4 percent), textiles (4 percent), diary (4 percent), vehicles (3 percent) and electronics (3 percent).
According to last available records, Palestine exported US$444 million and imported US$2.7 billion worth of goods. It is subject to a trade deficit since the signing of the Oslo agreements that represents as much as 48 percent of the GDP.
The Palestinian National Authority has pursued a free market policy since gaining control of the Palestinian territories. Although Palestine still faces some non-tariff barriers from Israel, the Paris Protocol has enabled the Palestinian economy to build on its strong industries, and increase its exports to both neighboring and international markets.
The Protocol ensures:
• No export restrictions on Palestinian products.
• Full access to Israeli ports of entry and exit is ensured, as well as equal treatment of Israeli and Palestinian imports and exports, other than security requirements.
• Full access to benefits that of bilateral free trade agreements which Israel currently enjoys with other nations, such as Slovakia and the Czech Republic.
Palestine Trade, Import and Export Indicators and Statistics at a Glance
Total Palestinian Exports: US$558.4 million
Total Palestinian Imports: US$3,466.2 million
Total Re Exports From Palestine:US$168.5 million
Palestinian Net balance Trade: US$2,907.7 million
2008 figures from Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics