The 24th Meeting of the Follow-up Committee of the COMCEC was held on 13-15 May 2008 in Antalya, Turkey with the participation of 10 member countries of the Committee. Iraq, Uganda, United Arab Emirates and Yemen also attended the Meeting as observers. Malaysia attended the Meeting as the Chairman of the 10th Islamic Summit. The OIC General Secretariat and the following subsidiary, affiliated and specialised organs (SESRIC, ICDT, IDB, ICCI, IUT, ITFC, OISA and ICYF-DC) attended the Meeting. The SESRIC was represented at the meeting by its Director General Dr. Savaş Alpay and Mr. Nabil Dabour, Senior Researcher/Acting Director of the Research Department.
The Committee reviewed and discussed the progress achieved in the implementation of the resolutions and decisions of the 23rd COMCEC Session, which was held in November 2007 in Istanbul. It also prepared the Draft Agenda of the 24th COMCEC Session, which will be held in Istanbul in October 2008. In so doing, the Committee reviewed and discussed a set of common issues of concern to the member countries with a view to enhancing economic and commercial cooperation among them.
These issues were discussed under the following Agenda Items of the Meeting: review of the implementation of the OIC Ten-Year Programme of Action relating to economic cooperation and the Plan of Action to Strengthen Economic and Commercial Cooperation among the OIC Member States, expansion of intra-OIC trade and investment, progress in the establishment of Trade Preferential System among the OIC Member States (TPS-OIC), matters related to the World Trade Organisation activities, Cooperation among the stock exchanges of the OIC member countries, poverty alleviation and capacity building programmes, preparations for the exchange of views on “Improving Investment Climate in the OIC countries”.
Under Agenda Item “Poverty Alleviation and Capacity Building Programmes”, Dr. Savaş Alpay, Director General of the Centre, briefed the Committee on the proposal of the Centre for the implementation of its initiative of Vocational Education and Training Action Programme for the OIC Member Countries (OIC-VET). The Committee took note of the proposal of the implementation of the Centre’s Vocational Education and Training Action Programme for the OIC Member Countries and of the willingness and readiness of the Centre to initiate, by simulating of the EU experience in this area, vocational training programmes such as OIC Exchange Projects for Professionals, OIC Placement Projects for Graduates and OIC Placement Projects for University students and others.
In this context, the Committee requested SESRIC to prepare a full-fledged report on the proposal and submit it to the 24th Session of the COMCEC for consideration by the Member States, noting that the proposed implementation procedures should not include a central budget but instead should be based on financing by the beneficiaries. The proposed system may include financial support for some of the least-developed member countries by different OIC institutions. In this connection, the Committee recommended that the vocational training activities offered by IDB, IUT and other OIC institutions may be incorporated within the OIC-VET Programme, thereby, generating a common OIC platform in this area.
Under Agenda Item “Preparations for the Exchange of Views on the theme: Improving Investment Climate in the OIC countries”, the representative of the IDB briefed the Committee on the preparations for the Workshop on the said theme to be organised by the IDB, in collaboration with SESRIC as the coordinator institution of the Exchange of Views sessions of the COMCEC, and held in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia in end of July 2008. Under the same Agenda Item, the Committee took note of the following proposals as possible themes for the exchange of views sessions to be held during the subsequent COMCEC Sessions: (1) E-government applications; (2) The impacts of rising commodity prices on the economies of OIC countries; and (3) The impact of exchange rate policies and currency harmonisation on intra-OIC trade.
The 24th Meeting of the Follow-up Committee of the COMCEC was preceded by two-related meetings on 12th May.
The 12th Meeting of the Sessional Committee of the COMCEC was attended by the OIC General Secretariat, the COMCEC Coordination Office, SESRIC, ICDT, IDB, ICCI, IUT and some of the Turkish institutions, which are owners of the proposed cooperation projects of the COMCEC. The Meeting mainly reviewed and discussed the progress so far achieved in the implementation of 8 cooperation projects of the COMCEC, which have been proposed by different Turkish institutions. In this connection, it is worth mentioning that the Committee designated the SESRIC as the Coordinator of the project proposal entitled “Cooperation in the area of Technical Development: Medium Range regional Turbofan Airliner” with the School of Civil Aviation of the Anadolu University of Turkey as the new project team leader.
The 1st Meeting of the Task Force to ıncrease Intra-OIC Trade, which attended by the OIC General Secretariat, the COMCEC Coordination Office, SESRIC, ICDT, IDB Group (IDB, ITFC and ICIEC) and ICCI. The aim of the Meeting was to explore the views, plans and activities of the said institutions regarding the achievement of the target stipulated by the OIC Ten-Year Programme of Action of reaching the desired intra-OIC level of 20% by 2015. Considering some concluding remarks on the subject, the Meeting decided that a draft of Road Map and Terms of Reference (TOR) of the Task Force should be prepared and that the Task Force to meet at least twice a year prior to COMCEC Sessions and Follow up Committee Meetings.
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