UK trade body Intellect held an event on Tuesday at Yahoo's London offices to discuss how companies can be encouraged to offshore their services to Palestine.
The event took place in the midst of a two-day Palestine Trade and Investment Forum (PDF) intended to promote Palestinian economic development by giving UK companies an overview of investment opportunities in sectors including construction, tourism and ICT.
Speaking at the forum, business secretary Peter Mandelson urged businesses to consider Palestine as a trade and investment partner.
"The UK's commitment to peace in the Middle East must not be weakened by economic difficulties," he said. "Growth of the Palestinian economy is crucial for driving forward change for the better."
Tom Wills-Sanford, Intellect deputy director, echoed the government's remarks to vnunet.com following the Palestinian ICT day which attracted 12 Palestinian business attendees.
"The general objective is to initiate a platform that will create outsourcing opportunities between the UK and Palestine and create a thread of the peace process," he said.
"In Palestine there is a young energetic industry that is able to make a contribution to outsourcing."
Wills-Sanford acknowledged that the lack of "mega outsourcing players" created "certain issues", but stressed that the region had the potential to develop.
He added that the main obstacle to overcome before businesses think seriously about investment in Palestine is the "perception problem".
"We are talking about business in the West Bank not the Gaza Strip," he said.
Wills-Sanford mentioned the names of companies that already provide services from the West Bank city of Ramallah, including BCI, Exalt, ASAL and Hulul.
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