Date : 12-13 November 2007 Venue : Istanbul - Turkey

CottonWithin the framework of the implementation of the Action Plan for the OIC Cotton Producing Countries’ Cooperation Development Strategy (2007-2011), the Forum on Enhancement and Promotion of Trade and Investment in Cotton Sector among OIC Member Countries was organised by the Ministry of Industry and Trade of the Republic of Turkey in collaboration with the OIC General Secretariat and held in Istanbul on 12-13 November 2007.

The Forum was attended by representatives of 21 OIC Cotton producing countries, the OIC General Secretariat, the COMCEC Coordination Office (CCO), Statistical, Economic and Social Research and Training Centre for Islamic Countries (SESRIC), Islamic Centre for Development of Trade (ICDT), the Islamic Development Bank (IDB), Islamic Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ICCI) and the African Development Bank.

The Forum was also attended by representatives of 46 private companies and 17 chambers of trade and commodity exchange in Turkey, 20 private companies from other member countries and 9 international organisations, all of which are active in cotton production, trade and industry (textiles) with the aim of encouraging, developing and supporting trade and investment in cotton sector in the OIC member countries.

The Forum also aimed at discussing the needs and capacities of the OIC cotton producing countries and the textile sector to determine possible collaboration and cooperation areas among the cotton sector representatives, investors and businessmen and to provide a medium for mutual negotiations on these issues.

In this connection, several free discussion sessions on issues such as investment and cooperation opportunities for cotton production inputs, ginning, storage, cotton and thread fabric as well as textile were held during the Forum. Several bilateral meetings were also held during the Forum on enhancing cooperation in cotton investment and trade among the major cotton producing countries with the participation of the representatives of the private companies in these countries.

The outcomes of these bilateral contacts are available in the web site of the Forum: The recommendations and proposals adopted by the Forum are included in the Final Report of the Forum which is also available in the website.

Mr. Nabil Dabour, Senior Researcher, represented the Centre at the Forum and presented a paper titled "The Cotton Sector in the OIC Countries: Problems and Possibilities of Cooperation". The paper highlighted the importance of cotton in the OIC countries in terms of production and trade. It investigated the challenges facing the OIC cotton producing member countries, particularly those in West and Central Africa. The paper also provided a brief analysis of the world cotton markets and elaborated on some possible ways of cooperation among the OIC member countries in this important sector. It concludes with the recommendation of establishing an OIC Cotton Alliance among OIC cotton producers, traders and industrialists to coordinate such cooperation.