The Jerusalem Arbitration Centre (JAC)
JAC was launched on 1 May 2011, under the ownership of ICC Palestine and ICC Israel and based on a joint venture agreement. The JAC has been operating since early 2013. The ICC HQ and the International Court of Arbitration provide training, and advice, in support of the JAC. The JAC has yet to finish an arbitration case, meaning that the project has not yet had tangible impact in terms of binding decisions. The impact of JAC, this far, can rather be measured in indirect and external effects. The discussions leading up to the creation of JAC also included the necessity of establishing a Palestinian branch of the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC), eventually resulting in the Palestinian branch becoming a full member of the global ICC organisation (see below). Furthermore, as already touched upon, the JAC has provided training and advice, leading to a general increase in competence of the local jurists appointed as arbiters in the JAC.
Palestinian Chapter of the International Chamber of Commerce
On 25 January 2011, a Palestinian chapter of the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) began operations in Ramallah. ICC Palestine was formed as the result of a cooperative effort between ICC headquarters in Paris and leading Palestinian business persons, facilitated and supported by PIBF together with NIR. PIBF has contributed first and foremost with activities of facilitation, that is, meetings and travel, legal service assistance, business plan development and events. While PIBF has been instrumental in supporting and facilitating it, the implementation has been carried out under the auspices of the ICC Headquarters and Palestinian private sector from banking, mining, manufacturing, investment and holding, insurance, pharmaceuticals, and tourism sectors. ICC Palestine is operational, and is developing the Palestinian private sector’s capacity for foreign trade. It represents Palestine’s private sector interests at all levels and supports Palestinian integration with the Multilateral Trading System. With improved market information, trade services and business support, ICC Palestine works to attract international business and investments to Palestine and facilitates trade with Palestinian firms. The PIBF meeting in 2010 which planted the seeds of both the JAC and ICC Palestine has thus had a large impact as far as formal institutions go in both cases.
Strengthening the Palestinian Standard Institute (PSI)
PIBF facilitated a meeting between the SIS and the PSI. The idea was to develop a long term partnership between the two in order to formalise cooperation so that consecutive activities could be carried out as the need arose, and to achieve the overall strategic objectives of both organisations to form international strategic alliances. An MoU between the two was signed on November, 16 2014. The next step for the two organisations is to elevate the PSI to become a voting member in ISO for the first time (they have only been observing members in the past). The PSI has thus far applied to become voting members in the following ISO committees: Food Safety, Security and Social Security, Customer Call Centres, and Assistant Products for Disabilities. The PSI participated in two of the committees in 2015: the ones handling security and disability (March and May). The SIS visited the PSI in Ramallah in February for a training on how to be effective voting members in these and future committees. In mid-February, the SIS visited Ramallah for a two-day workshop to meet with people from the private and public sectors, and helped prepare the PSI to work more effectively within these committees.