The Palestinian Authority is trying to encourage contractors in the UK to consider working in the region, which has been beset by troubles because of the conflict with Israel.

Officials have approached the British Consultants and Construction Bureau about sending a trade mission to the territory and hope to persuade some firms to reconsider their attitude now that the future looks more optimistic.

A bureau source that it was considering the Palestinian request, but added that discussions were at an early stage. He said: “We have received an approach from Palestine, and are considering whether a mission to the region would benefit British industry.

But we haven’t organised anything firm.”

The bureau is now working towards establishing a presence in Iraq in an attempt to further British interests in reconstruction. The organisation is sending a mission next month, although the event will be held in Jordan because of security. The bureau said it was in talks with Iraqi officials over when it could enter the country itself.

The source said: “Entering Iraq itself would be a huge step in bolstering the confidence of our companies to seek work there. We are working with Iraqi officials to ensure that we are the first trade organisation permitted entry, but at the moment they are saying that it would be next year at the earliest, even in northern Iraq.”