Workshop on “Increasing FDI Flows to OIC Member Countries"

Date : 30 September - 01 October 2013 Venue : Ankara - Turkey

The 28th Session of the Standing Committee for Economic and Commercial Cooperation of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (COMCEC), which was held in Istanbul in October 2012, decided on “Increasing Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) Flows to OIC Member Countries” as the theme for the Exchange of Views at its 29th Session, which will be held in November 2013, and requested SESRIC, IDB and COMCEC Coordination Office (CCO), to organize a workshop on this theme and submit its report to the next COMCEC session.

In accordance with this decision, SESRIC, COMCEC Coordination Office and IDB Group, in collaboration with, the Investment Support and Promotion Agency of Turkey (ISPAT) organized a workshop on 30 September – 01 October 2013 in Ankara, Republic of Turkey.

The Workshop was attended by representatives of national investment promotion agencies and other relevant national institutions and ministries from 14 OIC Member States. In addition, representatives of the OIC General Secretariat, COMCEC Coordination Office, IDB Group, SESRIC, Islamic Chamber of Commerce, Industry and Agriculture (ICCIA) and Islamic Centre for the Development of Trade (ICDT), and experts from the World Association of Investment Promotion Agencies (WAIPA), United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO), United Nations Conference on Trade and Development Programme (UNCTAD), Izmir University of Economics, Turkey, and Bilkent University, Turkey attended the Workshop.

Following the recitation from the Holy Koran, the message of  the Secretary General of the OIC, was read by Amb. Mouhamadou Doudou Lo, Director General of Economic Affairs Department at the OIC General Secretariat. Opening statements and addresses have been also made by Mr. Hussein K. JAMA, Advisor to the CEO of the Islamic Corporation for the Insurance of Investment and Export Credit (ICIEC), a member of the IDB Group, Mr. Selçuk Koç, Director at COMCEC Coordination Office, and Prof. Savaş ALPAY, Director General of the SESRIC.

In their opening statements, the speakers emphasized the importance of the role of FDI in the economic growth and development process in the member countries. They highlighted the modest share of the OIC countries in world total FDI flows and stressed the need for increasing these flows, particularly the intra-OIC investment flows. In this context, the speakers emphasized the importance of the workshop to identify the main common obstacles and challenges facing the member countries in creating enabling investment environment and expressed the need for enhancing cooperation among the member countries in this important area through, inter alia, sharing knowledge and exchanging experience and best practice.

During the working sessions, representatives of national investment promotion agencies and other relevant national institutions and ministries in OIC countries as well as representatives of relevant OIC and international institutions and some academicians made presentations on various aspects related to the themes of the working sessions, namely: (1) trends in global and regional FDI flows; (2) issues and challenges in attracting FDI in OIC member countries; (3) country experience, best practices and lessons for OIC countries; and (4) the way forward: solutions and initiatives to enhance the role of FDI in the development efforts of OIC countries. The last working session was designated to wrapping up and drafting the recommendations.

During the general discussions and deliberations, the participants highlighted some challenges, obstacles and problems which are still facing many OIC member countries in their efforts to attract more FDI flows. In the light of those challenges, obstacles and problems, the participants made a set of policy recommendations at both national and OIC cooperation levels (please see the report below) that would lead to create a favourable environment conducive to the flow and presence of FDI in the long-term with a view to increasing FDI flows to OIC countries.

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