The 6th International Economic Summit of Russia and Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) countries was held on June 5-6th, 2014, in the International Information Centre in Kazan, Republic of Tatarstan, Russian Federation. Kazan Summit 2014 was organized by the Islamic Business and Finance Development Foundation (IBDF), a non-profit fund which was founded in 2009 in Kazan, in cooperation with the Tatarstan Investment Development Agency (TIDA), and held under the patronage and with the participation of H.E. Mr. Rustam Nurgalievich Minnikhanov, President of the Republic of Tatarstan. Other key participants of the Sixth Summit included, inter alia, H.E. Mr. Mevlüt Cavuşoğlu, Minister of European Union (EU) Affairs and Chief Negotiator of the Republic of Turkey, H.E. Sultan Bin Saeed Al Mansoori, Minister of Economy of the United Arab Emirates (UAE), H.E. Sultan Al-Khater, Deputy Minister of Economy of the State of Qatar, Mr. Konstantin Shuvalov, Ambassador at Large at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Russian Federation, Mr. Ilyas Umakhanov, Deputy Chairman of the Federation Council of the Federal Assembly of Russian Federation, and Mr. Bronzatto Carlos, CEO of the World Association of Investment Promotion Agencies (WAIPA). Around 500 other participants from 26 countries and 14 Russian regions, including deputy ministers and ambassadors, representatives of national and international organizations, business leaders, and academics, also attended the Summit. The OIC was represented thereat through its delegation comprising Mr. Ahmed Al Haddad, Ambassador and Director of Economic Affairs at the OIC General Secretariat, and Mr. Nadi Serhan Aydın, Senior Researcher at SESRIC.
The Kazan Summit 2014 started, on 5th June, with a breakfast meeting under the theme “Portrait of Russian Regions: Integration of Russian Federation Regions into the World System” with the participation of high-rank officials including the President of Tatarstan Republic, leaders of federal and regional authorities, representatives of foreign and Russian delegations, business leaders, as well as leaders of Russian and foreign mass media. In his welcoming remarks, Mr. Minnikhanov thanked the participants for their interest in this year’s summit. During his speech, he noted that, the summit series was the outcome of their understanding, as Tatarstan, of the need for building a more direct and constructive dialogue with the policy makers in the Islamic countries as well as their businessmen regarding their perspectives about the real economic situation and possible joint actions. He also informed the participants of Tatarstan’s current economic situation and its future development plans. In this respect, Mr. Minnikhanov mentioned a number of infrastructure development projects for supporting businesses in Tatarstan, including 5 industrial parks, 8 business incubators and 9 technoparks, as well as a specific centre of innovative development. He stressed that, in 2013, the amount of FDI directed to Tatarstan exceeded US$ 400 million. During the business breakfast, participants from different countries and regions also had the opportunity to present their views and perspectives on how to increase their cooperation with Russia.
The key event of Summit was the plenary Strategic Forum on its first day, where eminent speakers deliberated, among others, on the process of integration between OIC member countries and Russian Federation, state of food security in OIC member countries and the role of Russia, and the prospects for establishment of a common economic and trade platform. Speaking on the Strategic Forum, Mr. Minnikhanov said investment and trade relations between Russia and the OIC countries were key to combatting food insecurity. He noted that Tatarstan was a leading region in Russia in the agricultural production, not only satisfying its domestic consumption but also with a steady supply of food products to other regions of the Russian Federation.
Mr. Ahmed Al Haddad, Ambassador and Director of Economic Affairs at the OIC, also made a presentation in the Strategic Forum of the Summit. As part of his presentation, Mr. Al Haddad presented the message of H.E. Iyad Ameen Madani, Secretary General of the OIC, to the 6th Summit. At the outset of his presentation, Mr. Al Haddad noted that the Sixth Summit were being held at a time when the OIC, with all of its institutions, was in full preparations for the 41st Council of Foreign Ministers (CFM), to be held on June 18-19th, 2014, in Kingdom of Saudi Arabia under the theme “Prospecting Fields of Islamic Cooperation.” He also stressed that the economic and financial relations between the OIC member states and Tatarstan, and Russian Federation in general, had been crowned with the visit of H.E. Mr. Minnikhanov, President of the Republic of Tatarstan, to the OIC headquarters in 2013 on the sidelines of his visit to Saudi Arabia. Referring to the increasing trade between Russian Federation and OIC countries, which he said had been recorded at US$ 80 billion in 2012, Mr. Al Haddad said that, although this was indicative of the improving relations, the current level of cooperation was below aspirations and, therefore, should prompt the both sides to exert greater efforts to boost the economic relationships further. In this regard, he also briefed the participants on a broad spectrum of public and private sector centric initiatives, institutions and programmes existing under the umbrella of the OIC.
The Sixth Summit continued on the first day with Tatarstan-UAE Business Forum, where the participants found the opportunity to expand the economic interaction and trading cooperation between Tatarstan and UAE through exchange of knowledge on best programmes and projects. The second day of the Summit, on the other hand, featured the Kazan Urban Forum, International Trade Forum, and Islamic Economics and Finance Conference. The Summit ended with an excursion to the national festival of “Sabantuy 2014” on June 7th.
The Kazan Summit series continues to be one of the leading international economic events of Russian Federation and OIC since its first gathering in 2009. The Summits are being held under the patronage of H.E. Mr. Rustam Nurgalievich Minnikhanov, President of the Republic of Tatarstan. Since 2012, the Kazan Summit has received strong support from the Federation Council of Russian Federation, which is the upper house of the Federal Assembly. The meeting aims to provide an open platform for interaction and exchange of knowledge with a view to improving and strengthening economic and trade relations between the OIC member countries and the regions of Russian Federation.
For more information, please visit the Summit website