SESRIC delegation headed by Dr. Savaş Alpay, the Director General of SESRIC, and comprised of Mr. Nabil Dabour, Director of Research Department and Mr. Mehmet Fatih Serenli, Director of Training and Technical Cooperation Department, paid a two-day working visit to the Islamic Development Bank Group on 25-26 December 2010. The delegation conducted various technical meetings with different departments and units of the IDB Group with the aim of enhancing cooperation and collaboration between the two institutions in various issues of common interest, particularly a mechanism for joint implementation of the OIC-VET Sub-Programme on Trade, Economy and Finance (OICVET-TEF).
On the first day, the SESRIC delegation conducted a meeting with the Director of Human Development Department, Dr. Daouda Malle, and the Officer-in-Charge of the Cooperation Department, Dr. Aftab Ahmad Cheema. The meeting was also attended by some Senior Officials from these two departments. During the meeting a presentation was made by Mr. Mehmet Fatih Serenli, on the OIC-VET Programme and the so far implemented and planned training projects within the framework of the Programme. Following a general discussion and debate on the possible ways and means of cooperation between the SESRIC and the IDB in the implementation of the OIC-VET Programme, the Human Development Department of the IDB proposed two training programmes to be implemented jointly with the SESRIC within the framework of the OIC-VET Programme during the year 2011: (1) Skill Development for Youth Employability Enhancement Project (2) Training of Master Trainers for Agricultural Development.
The delegation of SESRIC also conducted a meeting with the Chief Executive Officer of the Islamic Corporation for the Development of the Private Sector (ICD), Mr. Khaled Al-Aboodi. During the meeting and in the light of the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU), which was signed between the two institutions in October 2010, Dr. Alpay, the Director General of SESRIC and Mr. Al-Aboodi, the CEO of the ICD, discussed and exchanged their views on some possible areas of cooperation and issues of common interest to the two institutions. Such issues were base on promoting science and technology innovations and the importance of the private sector engagement in nanotechnology in the member countries, agricultural development and the potential of enhancing the private sector investment in the African member countries, particularly in seed improvement, food security and the support of some potential sectors in the Central Asian member countries.
Following this, the delegation of SESRIC continued the meeting with some Senior Officials at the ICD. The two parties discussed the ongoing preparation of the comprehensive study on “The Potential Role of Special Economic Zones in Promoting Economic Growth and Integration in OIC Countries”, which is being jointly prepared by SESRIC, ICD and TEPAV. It was agreed that in order to promote this project among the member countries, the issue of promoting SEZs should be put at the Agenda of the 27th Session of the COMCEC, which will be held in October 2011. It was also agreed that a concept paper on the subject should be prepared and presented at the 27th Meeting of the Follow-up Committee of the COMCEC, which will be held in May 2011.
The SESRIC delegation also conducted a meeting with the Director General of the Islamic Research & Training Institute (IRTI), Prof. Bambang Brodjonegoro. The meeting was attended by some Senior Officials at IRTI. During the meeting, the two parties agreed on informing each other on their planned activities for the year 2011, particularly in the areas of training and research in order to identify some of these activities and projects to be implemented jointly by SESRIC and IRTI, particularly in the area of Islamic Banking and Finance and the issue of establishing a Network among the Muslim Researchers Worldwide through organising an International Conference for these researchers. They also agreed on maintaining close cooperation and exchanging knowledge and experiences in the areas of these activities and projects as well as promoting each other’s activities and publications in their websites. They also explored on the possibility of developing e-learning modules on various subject of interest to individuals and institutions in member countries.
On the second day, the SESRIC delegation conducted a meeting with the Advisor to the CEO and some Senior Officials of the International Islamic Trade Finance Corporation (ITFC). As the IDB focal point for organising, jointly with SESRIC, the workshop on the theme “The Impact of Transportation Networks on Trade and Tourism” of the Exchange of Views Session of the 27th Session of the COMCEC, the two parties discussed some technical and organisational matters related to the preparations of the workshop. The ITFC also welcomed any capacity building and technical training project proposals from SESRIC in the area of trade and finance to be implemented jointly. In this context, SESRIC and ITFC agreed on organising some certified training programmes for professionals working in the national agencies dealing with trade facilitation and promotion.
The delegation of SESRIC also conducted a meeting with the Director of Infrastructure Department, Dr. Walid Abdelwahab. During the meeting, Dr. Alpay, the Director General of SESRIC and Dr. Abdelwahab exchanged their views on different areas of cooperation between SESRIC and the Infrastructure Department in the IDB in addition to the current preparations for organising the workshop on the theme “The Impact of Transportation Networks on Trade and Tourism”.
The SESRIC delegation was received by H.E. Dr. Ahmad Mohamed Ali, the President of the IDB Group, in his office where a fruitful discussion was conducted between the Director General of SESRIC and H.E. Dr. Ali regarding the most immediate issues of interest to the member countries and possible ways and means of enhancing intra-OIC collaboration in the areas of trade, economy, science and technology. Dr. Alpay and H.E. Dr. Ali agreed on enhancing partnership between the two institutions in implementing joint projects and programmes in various fields in the forthcoming period. The IDB President, H.E. Dr. Ali, expressed his willingness to initiate a special scholarship programme under the OICVET-TEF for university students pursuing degrees in the fields of trade, economy and finance, as well as carrying out joint knowledge sharing and orientation programmes for the professionals working in different governmental agencies related to trade, economy and finance. Dr. Alpay and H.E. Dr. Ali also exchanged views on the possibility of developing the concept of “cross-border cooperation” between neighbouring countries and generalising current local practices to a wider geography as a successful model of intra-OIC cooperation among member countries.