Trailblazing Business Lounge to Bring Economic Growth for Palestinians כותרת משנה A unique business lounge has been established at the Gate of Ephraim in order to bring together Palestinian and Israeli businessmen with greater ease and convenience. The lounge provides both a meeting place and an opportunity to establish continuous business relations without the need of crossing to Israel. 1/31/2017 טקסט ראשיBetween the cities of Kfar Saba and Qalqilya, sits a new business lounge unlike any other. It was built to promote and facilitate collaboration between Palestinian businessmen, traders and merchants and their Israeli counterparts.The project was built at the Ephraim Gate crossing by the Civil Administration, the Ministry for Regional Cooperation and the Crossing Authority. The Civil Administration understands that working relations between Palestinian and Israeli businessmen vastly benefits the economy. The establishment of a designated and convenient meeting facility is an important step in economic growth throughout the region. Ephraim Gate is amongst the largest and most important merchandise crossings between Israel and the Palestinian Authority. Approximately 120,000 trucks of Israeli and Palestinian goods cross Ephraim Gate each year and an average of 8,000 workers and traders pass through the crossing each day. "The lounge has a great economic potential. It is modern and innovative, has 19 meeting rooms and an auditorium capable of seating 120 people which is available for anyone to use," said Lt. Col. Adi Shooster.The head of the Ephraim District Coordination Liaison Administration, Lt. Col. Raim Falah, also sees the potential of the new business lounge. "It is an opportunity to boost to the Palestinian economy. That's done by a direct contact between the two parties, without the need of a connecting factor," he said. "In one phone call to the business center, we can coordinate a meeting with any businessmen or company and have it the very next day."Today there are around 20,000 holders of trading licenses in Judea and Samaria that have trade relations with Israeli citizens. Additionally, there are approximately 2,000 business executives who hold trading licenses. Lt. Col. Adi Shuster concludes, "The most significant advantage of the lounge is the fact that it eliminates the need for a license to enter Israel in order to have a meeting. This generates stronger economic relations, because the meetings are being held in the crossing's business lounge."