Palestine, in long form the State of Palestine, is a de jure sovereign state, sometimes referred to as a proto-state. Located in the Middle East, it claims to be established in the occupied Palestinian territories, including East Jerusalem.

General presentation

Official name: State of Palestine – Palestinian Authority

Type of regime: Republic
Area: 6020 km2 (2,000 sq mi)
Seat of government: Ramallah
Main cities: Nablus, Jericho, Hebron, Gaza, Bethlehem,
Official language(s): Arabic

National holiday: November 15

Population : 4 952 168 inhabitants (2017)
Population growth rate: 2.82
Literacy rate: 96.7% (2015)
Source: Ministry of Europe and Foreign Affairs

Economic situation

The Palestinian Territories (PT) consists of two areas separated by Israel, namely the West Bank (5,655 km2), which includes East Jerusalem (72 km2), and the Gaza Strip (365 km2). According to the latest official figures, 4.91 million Palestinians reside in the Palestinian Territories (2.95 million in the West Bank and East Jerusalem and 1.96 million in the Gaza Strip). The Palestinian Territories is a small economy (estimated GDP of US$14.6 billion in 2018 at current prices), divided into three distinct markets both physically and politically (West Bank, East Jerusalem, Gaza Strip). As a result of these constraints and significant population growth, GDP per capita is low compared to neighboring countries (an estimated USD 3,030 in 2018). The particular situation of the Palestinian Territories, an occupied, divided territory with precarious access and movement conditions, makes the economy of the territories partly dependent on external funding provided by diaspora transfers, income from Palestinians working in Israel, and multilateral and bilateral donors. This economy, constrained by the restrictions of the Israeli occupation of the West Bank and the blockade of Gaza, and by the uncertainties of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict that affect its competitiveness, can nevertheless count on a dynamic and inventive private sector, composed of a few “big companies” and mostly microenterprises. Source: DGT

Bilateral Relations

Bilateral investment treaties

Work in process

Double taxation agreements

Work in process

Free trade agreements

Work in process

Leading sector for Swiss companies

Work in process


20162017 2018 E2019 E
GDP (in billions of USD)13.39714.32
GDP per capita (USD)1 7461997
Growth rate4.1%3.1%1.4%1.4%
Unemployment rate28.429.2
Inflation rate-0.2%0.2%0.8%1.5%
Public debt (% of GDP)36.4%35.9%39.2%44.6%
Budget balance (% of GDP)-8.1-8.7-8.3%-10.4%
Current account balance (% of GDP)-10.1%-10.9%-12.7%- 13.4%

(Sources FMI, Banque Mondiale)

Main customers

Israel (83.2%), Jordan (5.6%), United Arab Emirates (2.5%), Saudi Arabia (2%)
Source: IFM

Main suppliers

Israel (58.2%), Turkey (8.9%), China (7.1%), Germany (3.5%)
Source : IFM

Swiss exports to

Work in process

Exports of …. to Switzerland

Work in process

Swiss direct investment in

Work in process

The business climate

Work in process