Solomon Pools Company
In its first project in the West Bank and Gaza, MIGA insured an investment by Phoenix International Limited of the United Kingdom for the establishment of a cultural center for tourists and business visitors. The $5.0 million coverage was issued through the West Bank and Gaza Investment Insurance Trust Fund, and covers the investment against the risks of transfer restriction, expropriation, and war and civil disturbance.
MIGA created the Fund in 1997 to promote foreign investments in the West Bank and Gaza. The Fund is currently financed by the European Investment Bank, the Japanese government and the Palestinian National Authorities.
The project enterprise, Solomon Pools Company, located just south of Bethlehem, comprises several historically-significant archaeological sites, including a spectacular 400-year old Ottoman fortification and three ancient clear-water cisterns, dating back to the Herodian era more than 2,000 years ago. The project is designed to restore and enhance the historic and cultural significance of the site. It includes the creation of several restaurants, a professional crafts center, a museum, an amphitheater, and a park.
The upcoming "Bethlehem-2000 Celebrations", sponsored by the World Bank, are expected to attract millions of visitors to the Territories. The Solomon Pools project will serve as a major attraction. The local economy will benefit from the project in several ways. It will create hundreds of jobs and will procure goods and services locally, providing downstream benefits for the economy. The project is expected to generate significant tax revenues and foreign exchange income.