Two months into pandemic: Bethlehem the most economically afflicted city

PNN/ Bethlehem/

Two months into state of emergency, head of the Bethlehem Chamber of Commerce & Industry, Dr. Samir Hazboun announced Bethlehem as the most economically afflicted province in terms of industry, commerce, media and small enterprises.

During his seminar announcing the results of the research study on the losses of the economic and commercial sectors on Saturday,  Hazboun said that all sectors in the governorate were affected, with a high rate, the majority of which had reached 100%.

Hazboun talked about the detailed effects of the Coronavirus pandemic, where he said that Bethlehem was the most affected city because it is one of the first governorates in which the virus appeared, pointing out that they held a questionnaire in the city, which was filled by 239 establishments, in order to measure the economic impact of the Corona pandemic on economic establishments operating in Bethlehem. However, the study did not come out with specific numbers since it will take a longer period to get statistics.

Hazboun said that the Chamber issued a report and an economic study only for the first month, and is coming up with a deeper and larger study in the second month that took different observations from different Sectors and entities, including journalists and the media, stressing that the introduction and integration of some sectors that are not registered with the Chamber came to help these sectors and that the Chamber is not a substitute for unions or unions.

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On the partial PNN question that there is a request from the government and the prime minister not to talk or issue specific numbers with losses, Dr. Hazboun said that no one, neither the Prime Minister or the Minister of Economy, interfered with our study, explaining that they worked absolutely free and that identifying number losses requires teams with expertise and comprehensive survey and we took With a survey and research study that was conducted a small sample and it is not possible to base all losses on the numbers, explaining that he put up a model for losses in the hotel sector, which may reach about nine million dollars per month if the number of rooms and the rate of their rent is calculated daily and therefore no numbers will be issued now but it is possible to Guardianship Figures are approximate but we’re not currently in this regard, noting that Bethlehem has lived the experience of 2002, and there was the experience of today enables us to raise our voices loudly and benefit from the experience to maintain our reality and our presence in the future.

He pointed out that the Federation of Chambers of Commerce in various governorates held a meeting a few days ago and directed the government a number of messages and demands to take practical steps so that our economic sector is able to face the difficulty of the next stage, expressing the hope that there will be a response by the government.

The party unveiled that the study included the commercial sectors in the various geographies and areas of Bethlehem, the most prominent of which are the commercial and industrial sectors, tourism, services, the craft sector, contracting, agriculture, and the health and media sector for each sector where the focus was on several files for each sector, the most important of which are the challenges and problems facing them and the percentages of working days and disruption to the exit side A set of recommendations to support and support these sectors and facilities that have been affected.

He also pointed out that the Chamber issued recommendations to get out of the economic and tourism reality and all difficult sectors, as the study includes a series of measures that the government, banks and the private sector can take to get out of the crisis, stressing that these recommendations came from various sectors being the most knowledgeable of their reality.

The head of the Chamber of Commerce did not hide the refusal of some people or their concealment of information on some of the questions included in the study from various sectors without mentioning the reasons for their doing so, explaining that hiding the information may be for various reasons.

Dr. Hazboun discussed the efforts and work of the chamber in cooperation with the various authorities in the governorate and outside, noting the formation of a special fund for the governorate to work on collecting donations and assigning the most affected sectors besides working with the Ezz Waqf Fund as there are two persons representing the governorate in the fund and they are the businessman Nassar Nassar and the governor of the Bethlehem governorate Major General Kamel Hamid, stressing that Bethlehem will not delay and fail to support the Ezz Waqf Fund, and will work to support its community in Bethlehem through the fund headed by Governor Hamid.

He also indicated that the study included recommendations on two different forms, the first recommendations pertaining to each sector based on its needs and the second recommendations and general proposals, including allocating 1% of the value of the added tax to the governorate’s emergency fund in favor of social responsibility and allocating 1% of the banks ’movements in favor of social responsibility as well as recommendations to restore Scheduling dues without interest, and that there should be contributions of no less than 20% for real estate from lessors for the benefit of tenants, as the recommendations state that banks and the monetary authority should take a decision to exempt interest in the emergency period, and the general recommendations stress the need to form a A joint private governmental committee of the public and private sectors to compensate the affected sectors.

The recommendations also confirmed that Bethlehem incurred huge losses as it was the first governorate that was infected with this virus, in addition to recommending that all citizens be treated as believers in health centers regardless of the validity of health insurance, with the importance of reducing the price of health services in hospitals and private centers by 50% during the emergency period with Appeal to the Pharmacists Syndicate and the Health Professions Syndicate to reduce drug pricing, tests by 50% during the emergency period as well.

He thanked Dr. A party of all owners of establishments and sectors who cooperated with the chamber to come out with this study, explaining that the recommendations that came in it were the largest part of them from each sector. Special.


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