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The Palestinian sovereign wealth fund is aiming to boost the private sector and wean the strife-torn region off aid, with investments in sectors like tourism and power generating profits despite difficult relations with Israel, its boss said. While most other, much larger, sovereign wealth funds invest heavily abroad in a bid to spread risk and maximise returns, the Palestine Investment Fund (PIF) is focused on developing the local economy.
“Our objectives differ from that of some sovereign funds elsewhere,” the PIF’s chief executive, Mohammad Mustafa, said in a telephone interview from his office in Ramallah. “We want to create jobs, contribute to increasing taxes and build a revenue base for the government. We want to build a Palestinian economy less dependent on the government and less dependent on aid from donors,” he said. The strategy appears to be having some success. The PIF is on track to deliver cumulative net profit of $800 million in the decade to 2013, most of which is paid as dividends to the Palestine Authority. Mustafa said the fund had achieved strong results in challenging conditions.