Domestic Economy

Islamic Fund Urged to Help Alleviate Poverty

Islamic Fund Urged to Help Alleviate Poverty Islamic Fund Urged to Help Alleviate Poverty

Minister of Economic Affairs and Finance Ali Tayebnia urged the Islamic Solidarity Fund on Thursday to help eradicate poverty in the member countries of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC(.

The Iranian minister also called for inter-organizational trade boost among OIC members.

"The world economy is recovering and the pace of the recovery is expected to be accelerated in 2015. Despite the fact that the developing countries are widely believed to be the driving force behind the world economic growth, they themselves have been grabbling with unemployment and other economic issues," Tayebnia said addressing the 30th Session of the OIC Standing Committee on Economic and Commercial Cooperation (COMCEC) General Assembly held in Istanbul, Turkey, Thursday, IRNA reported.

The COMCEC conference, inaugurated by Turkey's President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, will be underway in Istanbul until Nov. 28.

Top economic and trade officials and experts from 57 Islamic countries have attended the event in Istanbul to discuss possible ways of expanding ties in the fields of tourism, transportation, trade and agriculture.

The COMCEC was founded in 1981 in an OIC summit and was officially launched in 1984 with the aim of developing coordination in economic and trade cooperation between member states.

"OIC member states are faced with a number of structural challenges such as lack of economic participation by women, high rate of youth unemployment and inefficiency," Tayebnia noted, adding that such problems can be tackled through "creative initiatives that lead to job creation."

The OIC is an international organization founded in 1969 and consists of 57 member states. The organization is "the collective voice of the Muslim world" and works to "safeguard and protect the interests of the Muslim world in the spirit of promoting international peace and harmony."

Tayebnia said that reforms have to be made with regards to the systems providing financial resources and services to regional countries to help OIC members to make use of opportunities in the region.

"Financial systems are mainly established by trade banks, and capital markets are largely ignored," he noted.

He further said that according to the 10-year plan of action envisaged for the OIC, inter-organizational trade should account for 20% of OCI's total trade value. "One of the difficulties hampering trade expansion among OIC member states is that the growth of intermediary products is higher than that of the finished products, suggesting OIC member states are not properly linked to the global trade."

>>>Promotion of Tourism

The minister also underlined the role tourism industry can play in the world economy, saying, "Although the OIC member states possess numerous natural, geographic, historical and cultural attractions, their share of the world tourism income is too low."

Tourism industry's growth rate is about 10% worldwide, much higher than the global economic growth, he said.

According to the World Travel and Tourism Council, one out of 11,000 jobs worldwide is related to tourism, he noted.

>>> Cooperation With IDB

The Iranian minister also met with Ahmad Mohamed Ali Al-Madan, the president of the Islamic Development Bank on the sidelines of the COMCEC conference.

In the meeting, Tayebnia called for expansion of cooperation between the bank and Iran's private sector and thanked the IDB's president for his "positive and constructive" ties with Iran.

Al-Madan, for his turn, expressed his willingness to promote relations with Iran and said his bank is planning to send delegations to Tehran to hold training courses there.

The IDB is a multilateral development financing institution located in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. It was founded in 1973 by the finance ministers at the first Organization of the Islamic Cooperation under the aegis of the Saudi king. It began its activities in October 1975. The bank has 56 shareholding member states. With 9.32% paid-up capital, Iran is the third biggest shareholder of the IDB.

>>>Meeting Turkish President  

Tayebnia also met with Erdogan on the sidelines of the event.

During the meeting, the minister extended an invitation to the Turkish president on behalf of President Hassan Rouhani to pay an official visit to Iran.

The two officials also called for expansion of ties with the aim of reaching the trade target of $30 billion in value in the near future.