Representatives of 28 chambers of Islamic countries convene in Doha to empower the private sector

16-12-2023

Under the patronage of His Excellency Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman bin Jassim Al-Thani, Qatar’s Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs, the Qatar Chamber (QC) hosted the 39th Meeting of the General Assembly of the Islamic Chamber of Commerce, Industry, and Agriculture (ICCIA) on Saturday, December 16, at the Sheraton Hotel.

The meeting saw broad participation of member chambers’ presidents and representatives from 28 countries, as well as a selection of economic leaders from the Islamic world.

The opening ceremony of the meeting commenced by the speech of H.E. Mr. Abdullah Saleh Kamel, President of ICCIA, who emphasized the importance of combined efforts at all levels, to drive the development across OIC member countries, stating: “I call on the Board of Directors of all affiliated institutions to align with the Chamber’s strategy aimed at empowering the private sector, and work in a real partnership with the Chamber as a founding entity, a genuine incubator, and a continuous supporter of these affiliated entities. Remember that as a private sector, we need an integrated system of services provided by all of these institutions, which are essential pillars for the success of our businesses”.

In his remarks, HE Sheikh Khalifa bin Jassim Al Thani, QC Chairman and First Vice-President of the ICCIA, welcomed the esteemed attendees and expressed his appreciation for ICCIA efforts in promoting joint Islamic action, and harnessing the available potential to enhance trade exchange rates among Islamic countries, as well as achieve sustainable growth in various economic sectors.

He also affirmed Qatar’s readiness to support the efforts aimed at enhancing economic cooperation among Islamic countries, in order to achieve the desired economic integration.

Sheikh Khalifa noted that despite the historical ties and close relations among Islamic nations, their intra-trade remains modest and doesn’t reflect the vast potential and tremendous natural resources they possess. He indicated that it doesn’t exceed 15% of the total trade of Islamic countries with the rest of the world.

HE further emphasized the importance of streamlining procedures for the exchange of goods and services to boost intra-Islamic trade levels, in order to reach the Common Islamic Market.

HE also underscored the significance of promoting mutual meetings between representatives of the private sector and investors in Member States, as well as organising exhibitions to showcase Islamic products, opportunities, and investment incentives available in these countries.

H.E. Rifat Hisarciklioglo, Vice-President of ICCIA and President of the Union of Chambers and Commodity Exchanges of Türkiye, praised ICCIA efforts in promoting business growth and improving economic conditions across the Islamic world.

For his part, Naghi Jabbarov, Director General of the Department of Economic Affairs at OIC, delivered a speech on behalf the OIC Secretary General, stressing the ICCIA’s crucial role in mobilizing the Private Sector, and promoting the economic development of OIC Member States.

In this context, he announced the launch of the OIC Labour Centre, a specialized institution of OIC, to serve as an executing agency for implementing OIC resolutions and programmes in the domain of labour, employment and social protection.

The 39th GAM adopted the new name for the Chamber “Islamic Chamber of Commerce and Development”, as recommended by ICCIA’s 35th Board of Directors Meeting, held on July 17, 2023, in Baku, Azerbaijan.

It also approved the application for membership presented by the Federation of Islamic Associations in New Zealand (FIANZ) as an affiliated member of ICCIA, bringing the total number of member institutions in the Chamber to 67 members.

The meeting witnessed the election of the Board of Directors of Islamic Chamber Research and Information Center (ICRIC).

Furthermore, the meeting reviewed the key achievements accomplished by the ICCIA General Secretariat during this year.

Qatar Chamber signed 2 MoU with Uganda and Djibouti Chambers

On the sidelines of the 39th General Assembly Meeting, 3 MOUs were signed; the first between Qatar Chamber and Uganda Chamber, second between Qatar Chamber and Djibouti, and the third between Azerbaijan chamber (Ask) and Turkish Cyprus Chamber (Ktto).

ICCIA launches Empowering Palestine’s Economy Initiative

During the meeting, the ICCIA launches Empowering Palestine’s Economy Initiative to support Palestinians and enable them to face the catastrophic consequences befallen the country due to the occupation.

The initiative aims to enhance digital empowerment of its workforce and establishing a comprehensive system for distance education, connecting academic learning with professional applications, with a focus on the transition towards remote work. Additionally, it aims to bolster businesses by launching comprehensive financial initiatives and developing the infrastructure to support remote work, contributing to empowering Palestinians to participate in the global market and build a resilient economy.

The initiative’s scope of work includes Remote Jobs Upskilling Platform, which includes remote jobs list and integrated learning modules for those interested in remote work, as well as E- Learning Hub includes training courses and specialized workshops, for soft skills enhancement and mastering remote work skills, thereby reducing unemployment rates, providing steady income, and enabling the community to achieve financial independence and overcome various economic obstacles.

In addition to Business Incubators to provide localized digital training centers, hold remote work webinars, and support entrepreneurs at global summits. As well as Collaborations with Universities, to offer scholarships and financial support to underprivileged students and support entrepreneurship, contributing to promoting innovation, creativity, and advancing the country’s economy in a tangible manner.

The initiative’s funding mechanisms are Crowdfunding; collective fundraising to meet the financial needs of the initiative. Besides fostering a single or multiple projects that holds the donor’s name through a specified entity, and High-Profile Businessmen & Angel Investors donations.

In this regard, ICCIA invites individuals, businessmen, federations of chambers of commerce, private sector institutions, and international organizations to unite their efforts and collaborate in achieving the objectives of this initiative and empowering the Palestinian people to overcome the destruction and devastation befallen their country, as well as supporting economic growth for a better future for the entire Islamic nation.

Empowering Palestine’s Economy Initiative serves as a roadmap for achieving long-term economic stability, based on the relentless efforts of ICCIA to promote economic development, foster growth, and uplift various parts of the Islamic world. In this respect, as the sole representative of the private sector in Islamic countries, ICCIA reaffirms its commitment to cooperate with relevant institutions to lay the foundations of a bright economic future worldwide.

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