Progress Report of ICCI
Follow-up of the Resolutions of the 24th Session of the COMCEC
Progress Report of ICCI
Follow-up of the Resolutions of the 24th Session of the COMCEC
The ICCI in its capacity as an affiliated Institution of the OIC has been undertaking activities related to the private sector, with the objective of strengthening economic cooperation and ultimately leading to increasing intra-Islamic trade and investment. Within this framework the ICCI has been pursuing activities, programmes not only to meet its own goals, but to also implement the objectives of the OIC Programme of Action.
Private Sector Meetings:
As per the mandate given by COMCEC, the Islamic Chamber of Commerce and Industry has so far held 12 Private Sector Meetings since 1994 in various Islamic Countries to increase the volume of commercial exchange, expand the size of joint venture investments and to explore trade opportunities within the OIC Member Countries.
The General Secretariat of the OIC in its Road Map for the implementation of the OIC 10 year Programme of Action has once again mandated ICCI to continue its activities, especially organization of Private Sector Meetings and to ensure effective implementation of the agreements signed during these Meetings.
Islamic Chamber being the major representative of the private sector has formulated its programs to meet these economic crises. As a mechanism to implement the OIC 10-Years Program of Action the Islamic Chamber has made its 10-Year Work Plan.
All the Private Sector Meetings, organized in 12 different Islamic Countries were held on the kind invitation of National Chambers of Commerce & Industry and were patronized on the highest level by the Presidents of the State / Prime Ministers / Ministers of Economy / Trade / Commerce of the host Countries.
The 12th Private Sector Meeting, known as OIC Business Forum was held on the margin of 35th Session of the Council of Foreign Ministers (CFM) in June 2008 in Kampala, Uganda under the specific theme “Discover the Resources & High Potential of the African Market”. The objective of the meeting was to provide an opportunity for the private sector to have the deliberations at a time when representatives of the public sector were having their meeting, thereby implementing public-private sector partnership. It was the first time that such opportunity was provided to private sector. The Meeting was held under the kind patronage of H.E. Yoweri Kaguta Museveni, President of the Republic of Uganda, who also graced the inauguration.
Outcome of the Private Sector Meetings:
All Meetings have been successful in gathering a large number of entrepreneurs, traders and industrialists from Islamic Countries for bilateral contact and discussions, particularly, economic and business issues. Representatives from International Financial Institutions including IDB have been attending these annual meetings of businessmen and in turn informing the Private Sector about their activities for the Islamic Countries.
These events also provide opportunities to the institutions to discuss the possibilities of cooperation with the private sector in common areas of interests, such as finding new markets for their products, financing new projects setting up joint ventures and applications for trade financing. Through these meetings, greater awareness has been created among OIC business community regarding opportunities for collaboration in industrial ventures and for expansion of trade among Islamic Countries.
As regards the last meeting, the Islamic Chamber has received a positive feedback from the participants, both from Uganda and other OIC Countries.
Some Salient Achievements of 12th Private Sector Meeting:
The OIC Business Forum – 12th Private Sector Meeting held in Kampala, Uganda was attended by more than 600 delegates, representing 26 OIC Member States, 5 non-OIC Countries, the General Secretariat of the Organization of the Islamic Conference, the Islamic Chamber of Commerce & Industry, the Islamic Development Bank (IDB), the Islamic Corporation for the Development of the Private Sector (ICD), Islamic Corporation for the Insurance of Investment and Export Credit (ICIEC), Islamic Center for Development of Trade (ICDT), International Islamic Trade Corporation (ITFC), World Islamic Economic Forum Foundation, UNIDO and financial institutions operating in some Islamic Countries, in addition to Ministers of Foreign Affairs, Trade and Minister of Finance, Planning and Economic Investments of Republic of Uganda. A report on the Business Forum was presented at the opening ceremony of the 35th CFM by Mrs. OZ. Kingongo Chairperson of the said Forum. The 35th CFM welcomed the outcome of the Forum and encouraged the OIC General Secretariat and ICCI to organize similar events in conjunction with forthcoming CFM. Some of the salient achievements are as follows:
• FORAS Investment Company (a subsidiary of ICCI) set-up the FORAS East Africa in Uganda. The purpose of the Company is to enable the private sector from the region to come forth with viable projects and FORAS can assist them to set up the projects.
• Under the FORAS Company, in the sector of Coffee, negotiations are being held between FORAS Investment Company and the Ugandan Companies to establish a Coffee Processing Plant in Uganda. The Government of Republic of Uganda is also in contact with ICCI in this respect.
• Mirza Associates Engineering Services Pvt. Ltd. Of Pakistan has established a Joint Firm in Uganda. The said Firm will provide services in the field of infrastructure development, housing, telecom and power sector developments.
• An MOU was signed between M/s Fazila Corporation of Bangladesh and B. One (U) Ltd. of Uganda, wherein the Bangladeshi party has agreed to provide the expertise in electrical manufacturing and assembling and the Ugandan party would provide all the necessary infrastructural facilities in Uganda for the implementation of the said project in Uganda.
• Star Food Products, a company from Pakistan has signed two MOUs: (1) for the export of rice from Pakistan to Uganda and (2) export of value added food products from Pakistan to Benin.
• A Cameroonian company is also following-up the matter with ICD/IDB for possible implementation of its project on “Graphic Technologies”.
• Apart from this, a number of MOUs were signed between Ugandan enterprises and their counterparts in OIC Countries.
• In line with the Kampala Declaration, and the speech of H.E.Yoweri Kaguta Museveni, President of the Republic of Uganda, wherein he spoke about the issues of increasing Member Countries’ efforts to diversify their economies to manufacturing industries in order to export the processed and value-added finished goods as well as to generate more income for their people, the ICCI has held and will hold some events.
1. In this respect, ICCI is organizing a Workshop on Coffee Processing in Ugandan in October 2009 in collaboration with UNCCI and Uganda Coffee Development Authority.
2. Similarly, ICCI has also organized a Workshop on “Promotion of Export Processing of Value-Added Fishery Products” in Cotonou, Benin from 21 to 22 March 2009; and a Training Workshop on “SME Cluster Development for OIC Member Countries” in Lagos, Nigeria from March 24 to 27, 2009.
Other Activities :
Apart from the Private Sector Meetings the ICCI is diversifying its activities, while still focusing on the Private Sector. These programmes and activities target poverty alleviation and capacity building. ICCI’s corporate strategy is to focus on activities that help to develop a competitive economy and promote sustainable trade and industrial development. The activities include organizing training, providing of advisory services in information technology, investment promotion, trade promotion, small enterprises development, expansion of the services sector, awareness and appreciation of privatization programmes, empowerment of women, tourism, promotion and establishment of companies in the private sector for poverty alleviation.
Training Program on Microfinance Sector Development:
ICCI has recently organized a Training Program on Microfinance Sector Development held in Khartoum, Sudan from July 18-21, 2009. The sector of Microfinance in some of the Islamic Countries is at a very elementary stage and a lot needs to be done to clear the concept and at the same time provide competitive and reasonable loans for the people. The Training Program was designed to create awareness on the microfinance sector and its effective usage in alleviating poverty by providing poor with access to credit. The Training Program addressed several issues and obstacles being faced by this sector and came forward with recommendations, which called for the setting-up of a Microfinance Training Center, which would act as a focal point to do research, collaborate & focus on capacity building and prepare training modules, which could be replicated in all OIC Countries.
Training Program on “Chamber Management” for the Staff of African Member Chambers Kampala, Uganda on 9-12 October 2009:
Realizing the increased importance of the private sector and its pivotal role in the socio-economic development, the Islamic Chamber of Commerce and Industry also organized a regional Training Program on “Chamber Management” for the Staff of African Member Chambers in Kampala, Uganda from 9-12 October 2009 in collaboration with Uganda National Chamber of Commerce & Industry (UNCCI) and International Islamic Trade Finance Corporation’s (ITFC), Islamic Development Bank’s (IDB).
This Training Programme was part of the 10-Year Program of Action of OIC to promote Intra-Islamic Trade to 20% by the year 2015. The overall goal of the Training Program was to enable the Chambers of Commerce and Industry of African Countries, to offer a wider variety and higher quality of services to their Chambers so that the African Members can play a more instrumental role in the development of private sector in their respective countries.
Investment and Privatization Conference:
With the objective of enhancing intra-investment level, and to encourage private sector participation in the privatization process, Islamic Chamber is organizing these Conferences on regular basis on the invitation of the OIC Member Countries. The 3rd Conference was held in Tehran – Islamic Republic of Iran on 28- 30 April 2009.
The Conference provided an opportunity to the participants of various OIC Countries to be aware of the investment opportunities and privatization process for enhancement of the investment level, privatization process and business relations among the OIC Countries.
The Second Forum of Tourism in Islamic Countries was held in Tehran from 28-30 April, 2009, in cooperation with Islamic Development Bank (IDB), Ministry of Tourism, Islamic Republic of Iran, Iranian Privatization Organization and Iran Chamber of Commerce, Industries & Mines (ICCIM). As the positive outcome of the First Forum a Tourism Promotion Company has been declared with a capital of US$100 million and was duly launched during the Second Forum.
The objectives of the Forum, and of the Conference, were to identify common strategies and plans for projecting and promoting trade, investment, and tourism potentials, and investment opportunities, in OIC Countries; also to explore the scope, the obstacles and the solutions in this direction; and to develop and formulate joint strategies for enhancing trade, investment and tourism in, and among, the Islamic Countries.
Businesswomen Forum: Realizing the economic potential among the businesswomen and also to endorse the Millennium Development Goals on gender issues the Islamic Chamber has initiated a program in 2005 for the economic empowerment of businesswomen of the Islamic Countries. This has been done by holding Businesswomen Forums in Islamic Countries on annual basis. So far, four (4) Meetings have been held. These Meetings have been held with the collaboration of the Islamic Development Bank, the related local chambers and Women Associations. The Special Unit for South-South Cooperation (SU-SSC), UNDP is also extending financial support for these Forums. It may be mentioned that the successes of the Businesswomen Forums and the recommendations adopted therein were duly followed and implemented which led to the establishment of:
• Businesswomen Information Network (www.oic-bin.net);
• Family Bank in Sudan with a capital of US$35 million;
• Incubation Center and Buying House in Pakistan;
• Islamic Solidarity Fund for Development for poverty reduction by IDB with the capital of US$10 billion.
In addition, keeping in view the enthusiasm of the women entrepreneurs, it is expected that the future Businesswomen Forum would have greater success and would achieve more positive outcomes.
The Fifth Forum for Businesswomen in OIC Countries would be held in Arab Republic of Egypt in January 2010.
International Islamic Company for Exploration of Investment Opportunities & Promotion of Intra-Trade (FORAS):
The International Islamic Company for Exploration of Investment Opportunities & Promotion of Intra-Trade Investment Company (FORAS) is the financial arm of Islamic Chamber of Commerce & Industry (ICCI), to explore business and investment opportunities in the Organization of Islamic Conference (OIC) member countries. It aims at targeting the member countries in specialized sectors which provide tremendous investment opportunities and a secure business climate. It also pursues the following objectives:
● To explore investment opportunities, study and promote the same.
● To start the implementation by establishing new companies with the objective of selling them after their establishment.
● To provide investment and trade information that would contribute to the economic development.
● To prepare comprehensive investment and trade studies and maps.
● To rehabilitate or revitalize unwell projects (sick units).
● To provide the needful investment and trade consultancy to the interested countries and companies.
The company has initiated 24 projects in Africa, namely Sudan, Egypt, Benin, Senegal, Mali, Uganda, and Mauritania.
Keeping in view of the global food crisis and to address the food security in OIC Member States, Islamic Chamber emphasizes the importance of investing in this sector by establishment of companies under FORAS in the member countries with comparative advantage in food production.
Within the framework to formulate a Common Framework for Integration and Coordination of Policy & Strategy of Science & Technology for Development among OIC Institutions and Member Countries, ICCI is actively participating in the Meetings of the OIC Task Force for Vision-1441 for S&T. FORAS has taken up the responsibility of implementing the Four Mega Projects.
Through this august house, the Islamic Chamber appeals to the Honorable Members to call upon their chambers and private sector to strengthen Islamic Chamber, by actively taking part in its activities and support the projects of the Islamic Chamber that are initiated with an aim for strengthening economic cooperation. The private sector may also come forward with their views of how they can assist the Islamic Chamber in implementing its projects.
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