The 27th Session of the COMCEC convened in Istanbul on 17-20 October 2011 with the participation of delegates from 48 OIC member countries. Bosnia-Herzegovina, Russian Federation, Kingdom of Thailand and Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus participated in the Session as observers. The OIC General Secretariat, subsidiary, specialized and affiliated organs of the OIC also participated in the Session. A number of international and regional organizations, including GCC, ECO, ECOBANK, UNIDO, FAO, ITC, WAEMU, and D-8, attended the Session. The SESRIC was represented thereat by Dr. Savaş Alpay, Director General; Mr. Nabil Dabour, Director of Economic and Social Research Department; and Dr. Kenan Bagci, Researcher.
The Senior Officials Meeting of the 27th Session of the COMCEC
The Meeting of the Senior Officials of the 27th Session of the COMCEC was held on 17-18 October under the Chairmanship of H.E. Kemal Madenoğlu, Undersecretary of the Ministry of Development of the Republic of Turkey. During the Meeting, the delegations of the Member States and the OIC institutions considered and deliberated on a number of agenda items related to various issues of enhancing economic and commercial cooperation among the Member States. The issues include: Review of the implementation of the OIC Ten-Year Program of Action and the Plan of Action to Strengthen Economic and Commercial Cooperation among the OIC Member States; World economic developments with special reference to the OIC member countries; Recent developments in intra-OIC trade, the Trade Preferential System among the OIC Member States (TPS-OIC), Priority Sectors (agriculture, tourism and transportation) and exchange of views on the theme “The Impact of Transportation Networks on Trade and Tourism”; Financial cooperation among the OIC member countries: cooperation among Stock Exchanges, Central Banks and Capital Markets’ Regulatory Bodies of the OIC member countries; Poverty alleviation: ISFD, SPDA, OIC-Cotton and OIC-VET programs; Enhancing relations with the private sector.
In addition to the presentation made by SESRIC on the Annual Economic Report on the OIC Countries 2011, the Centre also made presentations and briefed the Committee on the following agenda items: (1) Cooperation among the Central Banks of the OIC member countries; (2) Vocational Education and Training Programme for OIC Member Countries (OIC-VET); and (3) Results of the Questionnaire Circulated by the SESRIC to the Member Countries on the Proposed Themes for the COMCEC Exchange of Views Sessions.
In their deliberations on all these issues, the Senior Officials discussed and considered the recommendations and policy implications of many technical and background reports prepared and presented by various relevant OIC institutions as well as those of some related international and regional organizations. They also prepared the Draft Resolutions on these issues for consideration by the Ministerial Meeting, which was held on 19 October 2011.
The Ministerial Meeting of the 27th Session of the COMCEC
The Ministerial Meeting of the 27th Session of the COMCEC was held on 19 October 2009. The Opening Ceremony of the Meeting was held under the chairmanship of H.E. Abdullah GÜL, President of the Republic of Turkey and the Chairman of the COMCEC.
In his inaugural address, H.E. Abdullah GÜL stressed the importance of COMCEC as a solid platform of cooperation in the area of economy and trade. Emphasizing the recent developments in some of the member states, President GÜL called on the member states to lead and manage the process of change so as to realize the necessary political, social, and economic reforms.
H.E. GÜL continued his statement by pointing out the opportunities and threats brought by globalization and the need to enhance solidarity and cooperation in the face of these developments. He went on to say that the current global economic outlook further calls for increasing trade and investment flows among the Member Countries. In this regard, H.E. Abdullah GÜL stressed the importance of COMCEC Projects and programs such as Trade Preferential System of OIC (TPS-OIC), Standards and Metrology Institute of Islamic Countries (SMIIC), Stock Exchanges Forum, Central Banks Meetings, and Capital Markets Regulatory Authorities Forum, and called on the member states to sign and ratify agreements with regard to these projects as well as to actively participate in relevant meetings with a view to enabling these projects to deliver their developmental results.
H.E. Abdullah GÜL also touched upon recent developments with regard to priority sectors of the COMCEC, namely agriculture, tourism and transport. H.E. the President expressed his satisfaction with the recent progress achieved in these fields and invited member states to exert greater efforts to deepen their cooperation. Before concluding his remarks, H.E. Abdullah GÜL expressed his deep concern with regard to the situation in Somalia, and appealed to the member states to show solidarity with the people of Somalia by extending more aid to them.
The General Secretariat of the OIC underlined the progress made so far towards increasing the volume of trade among OIC Member States and their share in the world output as a result of combined efforts at OIC level. Delegates were urged to give effect to numerous resolutions on trade expansion and facilitation.
The Heads of Delegation of the State of Kuwait, Mali and Afghanistan made statements on behalf of the Arab, African, and Asian groups of Member States, respectively. They expressed their thanks to the Republic of Turkey for the hospitality extended to the delegates and H.E. Abdullah GÜL for his wise guidance for enhancing economic and commercial cooperation among the OIC Member States. They emphasized the necessity of improving cooperation among the Member States and underlined the substantial role of COMCEC in improving economic and commercial cooperation among the OIC Member States.
H.E. Dr. Ahmed Mohammed ALI, the President of the Islamic Development Bank (IDB), delivered a statement at the Opening Session, in which he commended the programs and projects initiated by COMCEC for enhancing cooperation among the OIC Member Countries. H.E. Shaikh Saleh Bin Abdullah KAMEL, President of the ICCI, also delivered a statement at the Opening Session. H.E. KAMEL emphasized the role of the private sector in promoting economic and commercial cooperation among the member countries. Rıfat HİSARCIKLIOĞLU, President of the Union of Chambers and Commodity Exchanges of Turkey (TOBB), also made a speech at the Opening Session, in which he underlined the importance of enhancing solidarity among the Member Countries for the expansion of intra-OIC trade.
At the end of the Opening Ceremony, an award ceremony was organized. “The Islamic Solidarity Prize for the Promotion of Trade among OIC Member Countries” of the IDB was accorded to Aldellatif HAMAM, Director of the Tunisian Center for the Promotion of Trade, on behalf of his Institution by H.E. Dr. Ahmed Mohammed ALI, President of the Islamic Development Bank (IDB).
The Ministerial Working Session was held afternoon under the Chairmanship of H.E. Dr. Cevdet YILMAZ, Minister of Development of the Republic of Turkey. Following the adoption of the Agenda, as the Chairman of the Senior Officials Meeting (SOM) H.E. Kemal MADENOĞLU, Undersecretary of the Ministry of Development of the Republic of Turkey briefed the Ministers on the outcomes of the Senior Officials Meeting.
Following the presentation, the Ministers exchanged their views on the theme “The Impact of Transportation Networks on Trade and Tourism”. Mr. Velid ABDULVAHHAB, Director of the Transport Division of the Islamic Development Bank (IDB), made a presentation as a Keynote Speaker on “Current Challenges, Trends and Prospects in Transport in OIC Member States.” Mr. Ruhi Engin ÖZMEN, Chairman of the International Transporters Association, also made a presentation as a keynote speaker on “The Role of Logistics in International Trade”. The Ministers and Heads of Delegations expressed their views on the presentations made by the key-note speakers, shared their countries’ experience in the field of transport and made comments on the problems of the OIC region in this sector. In addition, the Ministers underlined the importance of enhancing technical cooperation in the field of logistics and emphasized the necessity of developing a transport map which comprises information on the transport corridors and transport modes in the OIC Member States.
The Closing Session of the 27th Session of the COMCEC was held on 20th October 2011 under the Chairmanship of H.E. Dr. Cevdet YILMAZ, Minister of Development of the Republic of Turkey. Dr. Yousaf JUNAID, Counsellor General of Pakistan in Istanbul and Rapporteur of the Session, presented the Draft Resolutions to the Ministerial Session. In his presentation, Dr. JUNAID summarized the proceedings of the Session and highlighted the important points of agreement contained in the resolutions. The Ministerial Working Session then adopted the Resolution OIC/COMCEC/27-11/RES.
A special signing ceremony was also held at the Closing Session. During this ceremony, Kuwait signed the Agreement on Protocol on the Preferential Tariff Scheme for TPS-OIC (PRETAS) and TPS-OIC Rules of Origin, and Mali signed the Statute for the Islamic Civil Aviation Council.
At the end of the Ministerial Meeting of the 27th Session of the COMCEC, H.E. Dr. Cevdet YILMAZ, Minister of State of Turkey, delivered a closing statement. He underlined the vitality of the priority sectors namely, transport, tourism and agriculture, for economic and social development of member countries. In this regard, H.E. Dr. YILMAZ stated that the framework document for cooperation in transport would shed light on the future activities in this sector. Pertaining to tourism, H.E. Dr. YILMAZ emphasized the importance of COMCEC tourism platform with a view to helping the member states to make better use of the resources and vibrancy of the private sector. H.E. Dr. YILMAZ also expressed his pleasure for the remarkable progress achieved in the field of financial cooperation and invited all member countries to join the financial cooperation initiatives. H.E. Dr. YILMAZ concluded his statement by thanking all delegations, OIC institutions, COMCEC Coordination Office, organizers and interpreters for their valuable contribution to the 27th Session of the COMCEC.
All documents and presentations presented to the 27th Session of COMCEC are available in the COMCEC website: www.comcec.org