The platform for industrial and trade collaboration among less developed and more developed Islamic countries


Dec 16 - 22, 2002

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 Sector Meeting.

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 Pakistan".