At the eve of 35th Annual Meeting of the Islamic Development Bank Group (IDB Group), International Islamic Trade Finance Corporation (ITFC), a member of IDB Group, organized a two-day Meeting to develop and enrich the Road Map for Enhancing Intra-OIC Trade. The Meeting held in Baku, Republic of Azerbaijan on the 21st- 22nd June, 2010.
The representatives of the following international and regional organizations participated in the meeting: the General Secretariat of the Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC), the COMCEC Coordination Office, the Statistical, Economic and Social Research and Training Centre for Islamic Countries (SESRIC), the Islamic Centre for Development of Trade (ICDT), the Islamic Chamber of Commerce (ICCI), the World Trade Organization (WTO), the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO), the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD), United Nations Development Program (UNDP), the World Customs Organization (WCO), Export Promotion Centre of Turkey (IGEME) and Malaysia External Trade Development Corporation (MATRADE). Mr.Mazhar Hussain, Researcher at SESRIC, represented the Centre in the said Meeting.
The aim of the Meeting was to explore new ways and mechanisms to further enrich and make the Road Map for Enhancing Intra-OIC Trade more effective by sharing the views of the relevant United Nations and other international institutions on the implementation process and target of increasing Intra-OIC trade volume to 20% by the end of 2015. In this regard, during the two day Meeting, participants deliberated in length on five themes of the Road Map namely trade financing, trade promotion, trade facilitation, trade capacity building and development of the strategic commodities in the OIC Member States.
The opening ceremony of the Meeting was held under the patronage of H.E. Shahin Mustafayev, Minister of Economic Development of Azerbaijan, H.E. Dr Ahmad Mohammed Ali, President of the IDB Group and H.E Dr. Waleed Al-Wohaib, CEO of ITFC. Following the opening ceremony, ICDT and ITFC made their presentations to inform the participants about the latest developments on intra-OIC trade, possible impacts of recent financial crisis, trade financing activities in Member Countries and issues and challenges to meet the targets set in the Executive Program of the Road Map.
During the working sessions, ICT, WTO, WCO, UNCTAD, UNDP and UNIDO made their presentations on certain possible mechanisms and measures to enhance the effectiveness of the Road Map in the light of their research findings and field experiences in trade sector. The following major proposals are among others which emerged from the deliberations:
- Involving Member States and Regional Economic Groups in the implementation of the Executive Program.
- Accelerating the process of signature and ratification of the agreements and protocols concluded under the auspices of OIC in particular the Trade Preferential System among the OIC Member States (TPS/OIC), the Preferential Trade Agreements (PRETAS) and the Rules of Origin .
- Accelerating the accession process of OIC Member States with the World Trade Organization and international agreements aiming at facilitating exchanges in order to harmonize legislations and procedures.
- Implementing sustainable trade strategies by investing in products with high exchange potentials and value added and for which there are complementarities within OIC Member States.
- Paying a special attention to trade in services and exports insurances as well as small and medium enterprises within the framework of trade development programs.
- Developing competitiveness and conformity of products with international standards.
- Enhancing collaboration between UN and OIC Institutions to provide tailored made trade capacity building services to the Member States.
- Creating a fund for trade promotion.
- Establishing trade gateways and intercontinental shipping lines in the Islamic world.
- Inventing more Shariah compliant trade financing tools.
The report of this Meeting will be submitted to higher OIC level fora for consideration by the concerned authorities in the OIC Member States.