West Bank and Gaza - Country Commercial Guide
Selling Factors and Techniques

Identifies common practices to be aware of when selling in this market, e.g., whether all sales material need to be in the local language.

Last published date: 2020-09-13

Overview

U.S. businesses should note the influence of a comparatively large, formerly U.S.-based Palestinian community, which has transferred American consumer preferences and buying habits to the West Bank. These cultural and consumption links are important factors in local Palestinian knowledge of American products. Although price is critical for successful sales in the West Bank and Gaza, local purchasers increasingly seek American quality, particularly for computers, electronic equipment, and consumer items.

Trade Promotion and Advertising

U.S. products face stiff competition from European, Israeli, and locally-made goods; however, interest in American-made products has increased due to the fall in the U.S. dollar exchange rate against the Israeli shekel.

Competitively-priced U.S. brand names are popular, particularly with well-to-do Palestinian consumers, and many American brands of processed food are imported from the United Arab Emirates.

American imports into the West Bank and Gaza enter duty free. The Palestinian Authority (PA) does not have any restrictions on advertising except for tobacco products and alcohol. For labelling, all products coming into the West Bank and Gaza must have Arabic labels in addition to the original label. Placing Arabic-language sticker labels on original packaging is generally acceptable.

Most advertising is done through local Arabic newspapers, although advertising through Palestinian radio and television stations is possible also. A few companies have begun billboard advertising, which should expand over the next few years. Advertising in the West Bank is comparatively cheap by world standards and prime-time Palestinian radio time costs about $35 per minute.

Major Arabic Daily Newspapers:

  • Al Quds
  • AL Ayyam
  • Al Hayat Al Jadida

Local Palestinian Television Stations:

  • Palestinian Broadcasting Corporation PBC

Visit the Commercial Service websites for trade promotion services: U.S. Commercial Service Trade Events

Pricing

Price is a major factor affecting purchasing decisions by Palestinian companies and consumers. U.S. companies may want to gain market share by introducing products into the Palestinian market at locally competitive prices. All business transactions in the West Bank and Gaza are subject to VAT at the current rate of 16%.

Most goods are sold in small family-owned retail outlets. Local consumers are price-conscious, although upper-middle class consumers prefer American brand names. Moreover, even with shipping costs, American-made consumer products are sometimes cheaper than relatively high-priced, comparable Israeli items currently being sold in Palestinian stores. 

Sales Service/Customer Support

Both after-sales service and customer support are important in the West Bank and Gaza markets. They are strong selling points for U.S. goods, as well. However, competitive pricing will remain the key to building a customer base.

Local Professional Services

U.S. companies should also seek professional legal and/or accountancy advice whenever engaged in complicated contractual arrangements in the West Bank and Gaza. These activities include establishing an office, investing, or applying for IPR registration. Please contact Assad.Barsoum@trade.gov for more information. There are three international accounting firms operating in the West Bank and Gaza:

Ernst & Young 

PriceWaterhouseCoopers  

Deloitte Touche

 

Principal Business Associations

The Palestinian-American Chamber of Commerce

Mr. Said Baransi, Chairman

Tel: +970-2-297-4417 Fax: +970-2-297-4092

Ramallah, West Bank

Email: Said.Baransi@amcham.ps

 

Federation of Palestinian Chambers of Commerce

Mr. Khalil Rizeq, Chairman 

Tel: +970-2-298-5556 Fax: +970-2-298-2757

Ramallah, West Bank

Email: Khalil.Rizeq@pal-chambers.org 

 

Palestinian Information Technology Association

Mr. Ibrahim Al-Jaffal, Chairman

Tel: +970-2-240-5829 Fax: +970-2-240-5837

Ramallah, West Bank

Email: Ibrahim.m.jaffal@jaffalgroup.com  

 

Palestinian Businessmen Association

Mr. Jehad Aqel, Acting General Manager

Tel: +970-2-297-4636 Fax: +970-2-297-4004

Ramallah, West Bank

Email: jehad@pba.ps 

 

Palestine Trade Center (PalTrade)

Mr. Mohammad Nusseibeh, CEO

Tel: +970-2-240-8383 Fax: +970-2-240-8370

Ramallah, West Bank

Email: info@paltrade.org

 

Palestinian Federation of Industries

Mr. Basem Walweel, Chairman 

Tel: +970-2-295-0290 Fax: +970-2-297-7409

Ramallah, West Bank

Email: info@pfi.ps

 

Limitations on Selling U.S. Products and Services

There are no limitations on selling U.S. products and services unless they are clearly prohibited by the Palestinian Authority.