West Bank – Today, USAID inaugurated Arts of Carved Stone, a new stone and marble company at the Bethlehem Multidisciplinary Industrial Park. USAID’s investments provided the company, also known as Techno Founoun, with the latest technology to maintain a competitive edge in global markets such as Moscow and Sao Paulo. The new facility, completed in April, has already led to significant increases in exports and the creation of 30 new jobs.
USAID co-invested with Techno Founoun to enlarge a production facility and install water treatment equipment capable of recycling 95% of the water used in the stone carving process. This effort has helped the company gain a foothold in the stone sector for local and international customers seeking high quality decorative stone art.
In her remarks, USAID Mission Director Monica Stein-Olson lauded the company for being inclusive. “Women at Techno Founoun hold key managerial positions. This is rarely seen in the male-dominated industry and Techno Founoun’s inclusive management approach is commendable. The company’s investments in women are shaping a modern and sophisticated industry in the West Bank.”
The Compete Project has assisted over 1,371 businesses, generating $288 million in sales and $198 million in exported goods. Since 2012, USAID has leveraged over $96 million in private sector investment to introduce innovative technology that stimulates Palestinian economic growth and strengthens Palestinian businesses to compete globally in the agriculture, fishing, stone and marble, ICT, textile, and tourism sectors. These investments advance the United States’ commitment to improve the daily lives of Palestinians and enhance the prospects for lasting peace.