At a time when the global economic trend is towards
as increasingly liberalized trade order, it is imperative that Islamic
countries take stock of their place in the world. They should not only
re-appraise their economic relationships with the international
community but more critically with each other. They must synergise their
efforts towards building a cohesive and vibrant Islamic bloc. The global
marketplace is worth US$ 5,000 billion, yet intra-Islamic trade accounts
for slightly more than 10 per cent of this — Islamic world makes
almost one-quarter of the earth's population.
"The time has come for us to build on our bonds
of brotherhood and collectively look towards a new vision whereby the
Islamic countries are brought closer together through trade" is the
philosophy of Aqeel A. Al-Jassem, Secretary General of Islamic Chamber
of Commerce and Industry (ICCI). The ICCI follows a mission statement,
'To foster, liberalize and develop trade in the Islamic world'.
The ICCI has been organizing Private Sector Meetings
for the last years in important Muslim countries. The objective of these
meetings is to promote trade, attract investment and technology transfer
through collaboration in joint venture industrial projects. Within this
context the ICCI jointly with the Ministry of Economy and Commerce —
UAE, Federation of UAE Chambers of Commerce and Industry and the Sharjah
Chamber of Commerce and Industry, is jointly organizing the 9th Private
Sharjah is playing host to the 9th Meeting (December
21-23, 2002) during the landmark year — 25th anniversary of the
Islamic Chamber of Commerce and Industry. The Chamber represents the
private sector within the Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC).
The OIC is a grouping of 57 Islamic countries dedicated to safeguarding
the interests and securing the progress and wellbeing of their people
and all Muslims in the world. Private Sector Meetings have been held
annually since 1994. These meeting have proved highly successful in
assembling large numbers of industrialists and traders from Islamic
countries for bilateral contact meetings and discussions on the economic
and business issues confronting them.
A large number of private sector industrialists,
traders, and investors are expected to participate in this meeting.
Representatives of Islamic Development Bank (IDB) and its affiliated
institutions, such as Islamic Corporation for the Development of the
Private Sector (ICD), Islamic Corporation for Insurance of Investment
and Export Credit (ICIEC) alongwith other financial institutions in OIC
countries shall be present. OPEC Fund for International Development and
other international as well as United Nations Organizations
representatives are also expected to participate.
The IDB has recently established Private Sector
Promotion section and opened specialized financial windows for private
sector project financing; such as Islamic Bank's Portfolio for
Investment and Development and Unit Investment Fund. For financing of
projects, IDB lays special emphasis on export oriented industries which
earns foreign exchange and on agro and agro-based industries that
contributes to food security as well as strong assurance of project
sponsors experience and integrity in business dealings.
The ICCI has arranged to organize a seminar on the
first day of the meeting. The seminar will be conducted by IDB, ICD,
ICIECUAE, some other countries/regional and international organizations
to familiarize the participants with services, functions and objectives
of these institutions and investment climate and opportunities of their
countries, covering their various sectors of economy and capacities and
capabilities for cooperation with other OIC member countries.
The ICCI after due processing will identify some
industrial joint venture projects from various Islamic countries for
presentation and negotiation at the meeting with the cooperating
partners and financial institutions. The project covers a wide range of
agro-based industries, leather and leather products, textiles, chemical
industries, petrochemicals, fertilizes, pharmaceutical, engineering and
metal working. The forms of cooperation sought may cover, inter alia,
equity, loans, joint venture, sub-contracting, licensing, sale of
technology, turnkey project, equipment supply, expertise management,
technical know-how. Training and marketing.
Pakistan has always been an active participant at the
Private Sector Meetings. For the 9th meeting the delegation from
Pakistan comprises of around 40 persons, the highest being from the
financial sector. About 15 will be representing the Modaraba sector
only. The Director General of Board of Investment will make a
presentation on "Economic and Investment Overview of