December 22, 2011
Program participants and the Indonesian lecturer
The Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) is co-hosting a business training program for Palestinians December 19-22 as part of a concept known as triangular cooperation whereby Japan and nations it has helped in the past cooperate to assist other developing countries.
The program in Amman, Jordan, was aimed at sharing Indonesia’s own recent experiences in helping Palestinians to nurture small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs) through the successful management of specialized organizations called ‘business incubators’.
‘Business incubators’ are organizations which help start-up companies get their businesses off the ground by offering resources and services such as business planning assistance and financing advice.
How to start, finance and manage a business incubator and recruit and evaluate start-up SMEs were among the wide-ranging themes covered in the program. Indonesian lessons learned from managing agribusiness and technology incubators and their technology innovation experiences in the agroindustry were also shared.
In the program, Eiji Kubo of JICA’s Palestine Office outlined the agency’s cooperation in the development of the Jericho Agro-Industrial Park (JAIP) which is aimed at encouraging Palestinian businesses in agricultural produce processing.
Participants were drawn from SMEs, business incubators, the economic ministry, a women’s business association, chambers of commerce and a university.
It is a kick-off program through which Indonesians present what they can offer to Palestinians in business incubator development and Palestinians can identify areas they need for Indonesian assistance.
It is the first program of the triangular cooperation scheme in which Japan works with Indonesia to provide assistance to Palestine. Indonesia’s dominant population shares the same religious values with Palestinians and the country is therefore thought better suited to providing assistance to them. SMEs incubation, agribusiness and healthcare are considered as potential areas of assistance.
As Japan’s major development agency, JICA will help Indonesia by coordinating projects in Palestine and its neighboring countries, sharing cost of training, making its facilities available for projects, and sharing its experience of being a donor country.
Besides the development of the agro-industrial park the agency has helped Palestine through cooperation projects including improving education and maternal and child health, among others.