President Mahmoud Abbas, issued a Presidential Decree renewing the term of office of the Governor of Palestine Monetary Authority (PMA), Azzam Shawwa, for a second term that will run until 2023.
Governor Shawwa expressed appreciation and gratitude for his Excellency the President for this precious trust, which he cherished, and placed on him a great responsibility, promising to live up to the expectations of the President and to that of the renewal of the appointment. Shawwa also promised that he and the employees of PMA would make every effort to continue to develop achievements, and achieve more.
Governor Shawwa said that his priorities in the coming period were to enable PMA – with the support and sponsorship of President Abbas and the cooperation of the government and relevant official bodies – to continue to maintain financial stability and the strength of the banking system and its ability to cope with shocks.
Other priorities, according to Shawwa included developing working in the non-banking financial sector and moving forward with the work of partner institutions whose boards of directors are headed by the Governor of PMA, such as the Palestine Deposit Insurance Corporation, the Palestine Banking Institute, and the National Anti-Money Laundering and Terrorism Financing Committee.
The Governor noted the importance of promoting financial inclusion in accordance with the National Financial Inclusion Strategy, contributing to economic growth to a large extent, and developing microfinance in accordance with the strategy of the specialized lending sector in Palestine, as a key lever and central pillar of stability of the financial and social sector and a key building block in the Palestinian national economy through its developmental and social role, particularly towards strengthening the economic status of Palestinian women and young entrepreneurs, in addition to the central role of enhancing the resilience of Palestinian citizens in remote areas.
Shawwa added that it would be the responsibility of PMA to implement its strategy of the next five years, which included a new administrative structure that supported the implementation of the launched strategies, in addition to keeping pace with developments in the financial technology (Fintech) sector and providing developed and secure technological infrastructure for all segments engaged in financial technology, developing and updating the work in all these aspects, in accordance with the work of modern central banks.
Governor Shawwa added that PMA by complying with international law, standards and practices, and investment in the development of competent and qualified employees, achieved its goals. This has enabled PMA to gain prestige and credibility at the regional and international levels as well as the local level, and the development of this position will be at the heart of the priorities of the next phase.
Governor Shawwa stated that one of the critical priorities of PMA was to continue efforts in combating money laundering and terrorism financing, as PMA, through the Financial Follow-Up Unit, led national efforts in the national assessment of the risks of money laundering and terrorism financing. This is in preparation for evaluating Palestine by the Middle East and North Africa Financial Action Task Force in 2020 and had resulted in the Palestinian Cabinet adoption of the National Anti-Money Laundering and Terrorism Financing Strategy.
Governor Shawwa thanked the Board of Directors of PMA of the past four years and the distinguished governors who preceded him to the governorship of PMA, the staff of PMA and relevant institutions, and all local and international entities and institutions that had cooperated with PMA in many projects that had been important for the country and the citizens.