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Press Release

European Investment Bank and Japan Support MIGA's West Bank and Gaza Investment Gurantee Trust Fund

European Investment Bank and Japan Support MIGA's West Bank and Gaza Investment Gurantee Trust Fund

Washington, D.C., April 7, 1998 — The European Investment Bank (EIB) and the Government of Japan have contributed approximately US$6 million and US$5.1 million, respectively, to MIGA's West Bank and Gaza Investment Guarantee Trust Fund, the Agency announced today. These additional contributions increase the capital of the Fund to US$21 million, which includes a US$10 million contribution by the Palestine Liberation Organization, through a credit from the International Development Agency of the World Bank. The EIB has contributed ECU5 million (approximately US$6 million) and the Government of Japan has also agreed to contribute approximately US$5.1 million to the Trust Fund.

The Trust Fund was created by MIGA to stimulate private investment flows for reconstruction of the territories and their reintegration into the world economy. The Trust Fund enables MIGA to provide investment guarantees against the major political risks of expropriation, transfer restriction, war and civil disturbance, and breach of contract, for new cross-border investments in the West Bank and Gaza.

Mr. Akira Iida, MIGA's Executive Vice President, said: "The Trust Fund intends to primarily assist small- and medium-sized investments, with a special emphasis on employment-generating projects."

MIGA's President, Mr. James D. Wolfensohn, at a seminar organized by MIGA in November 1997, on "Safeguarding Investment in the West Bank and Gaza", also pledged the World Bank Group's full support of the reconstruction efforts, through financing and investment guarantees.

The Trust Fund, to be administered by MIGA, will follow special operational rules based on the Agency's guarantee program. Governments of a number of member countries, and multilateral and other institutions, have also expressed their willingness to contribute to the Trust Fund. MIGA continues to seek additional commitments from governments and multilateral institutions to support this initiative. The Agency has already received several applications for coverage of investments in the territories and is actively working on a project in the tourism industry in the West Bank.