Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) Secretary-General, Hissein Brahim Taha, vowed on Tuesday that the bloc's efforts for the economic recovery and development of Muslim countries will continue, Anadolu News Agency reports.
Taha was speaking at the 39th meeting of the Standing Committee for Economic and Commercial Cooperation of the OIC (COMCEC), which kicked off in the Turkish capital, Ankara.
The official also conveyed his condolences to the victims of the 6 February twin earthquakes centred in Turkiye's southern Kahramanmaras province.
Stating that COVID-19 pandemic and the accompanying measures caused an unprecedented slowdown in economic activities on a global scale, Taha said: "In mid-2022, the world started to take the pandemic under control. However, global economic growth weakened due to the Ukraine-Russia war and the subsequent sanctions."
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"The war had effects on both countries and it also had global repercussions, which were felt especially in countries with close economic relations to Ukraine and Russia. The food supply system was disrupted due to the war. The food security of many Islamic Cooperation member countries was severely affected by this," he added.
According to the estimates of the World Bank, the crisis will push 75-95 million extra people to live in extreme poverty, Taha said.
"We are making efforts to support economic recovery and increase economic cooperation among our member countries. We hold many meetings for this. We held a meeting in Qatar on food security and agricultural development. Our second meeting will be held in the 4th quarter of 2023 within the framework of the labour ministers," he added.
The Secretary-General also said that ministerial-level meetings will be held to support agriculture, food security and employment-creating sectors.
"Member countries are invited to the 18th OIC Trade Fair. The third tourism fair will also be held in Qatar in November 2023. I would also like to thank our institutions for their hard efforts. I call on these institutions to support the projects so that we can support all our countries. Our efforts for economic recovery and development will continue," he said.
On the other hand, Said Albraidi, head of National and Regional Development Department of Qatar's Ministry of Trade and Industry, underlined the need to strengthen cooperation and fight against difficulties together.
Emphasising that Turkiye has put forth a lot of effort and realised projects at this point, Albraidi said: "Turkiye is taking firm steps forward on the road to 2025."
"When it comes to cooperation, the more we support and intensify it, the better it will be for our trade, until 2025," he added.
"Our relevant secretariats will work day and night to achieve this target."
Albraidi further stated that they have faced serious difficulties in economic terms on a global scale in the last few years, but they will continue their efforts.
Providing the information that they will strengthen the physical traditional trade and e-commerce opportunities between the countries, Albraidi said: "The digitalisation process has started for the countries in terms of services and trade. The steps taken in this regard are very important."
"The opportunities that countries will face are also essential for development. Many programs have been laid out," he added.
"It covers very important issues. There is no doubt that we will be successful in these efforts as well, and we will take firm steps towards the future by obtaining concrete, reliable and strong outputs," he concluded.
Turkiye became a candidate to host the OIC 51st Council of Foreign Ministers Meeting, which is planned to be held in 2025. The candidacy was recorded in the Islamabad Declaration.
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