Workshop on Improving the Investment Climate in the OIC Member Countries
Date: 22-23 July 2008
Venue: Jeddah - Saudi Arabia

The Workshop on “Improving the Investment Climate in the OIC Member Countries” was held in Jeddah, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia on 22-23 July 2008 in fulfillment of a recommendation of the 23rd Session of the COMCEC, held on 14-17 November 2007 in Istanbul, Turkey, which chose the topic of this Workshop as the theme of the ‘Exchange of Views’ Session for the 24th Session of the COMCEC.

The Workshop was organized by the Investment Promotion Technical Assistance Programme (ITAP) of the Islamic Development Bank (IDB) Group in collaboration with the SESRIC (the coordinating institution for the exchange of views sessions of the COMCEC).

The Workshop was attended by representatives of the National Investment Promotion Agencies (NIPAs) of Tunisia, Nigeria, Senegal, Djibouti, Egypt and Turkey. It was also attended by the representatives of the World Association of Investment Promotion Agencies (WAIPA), African Business Round Table (ABRT) and Brazil Trade and Investment Promotion Agency (APEX).

The representatives of the OIC General Secretariat, SESRIC, ICDT and the following IDB Group’s institutions: International Islamic Trade Finance Corporation (ITFC), Islamic Corporation for the Development of Private Sector (IDD) and Islamic Corporation for the Investment of Insurance and Export Credit (ICIEC) were also attended the Workshop.

Following the inaugural session, five working sessions were devoted, during the two days of the Workshop, to discussing the presentations made by the representatives of the national investment promotion agencies, the OIC and IDB institutions as well as the international investment promotion agencies. The discussion during these working sessions tackled the following major themes: (i) Foreign Direct Investment: Recent Profile; (ii) Promoting Intra-OIC Investment: Progress and Challenges; (iii) Improving Investment Climate in the OIC Countries: Experiences and Useful Lessons; and (iv) Capacity Building for Promotion of Investment.

The Centre was represented at the Workshop by its Director General Dr. Savas Alpay and Mr. Nabil Dabour, Director of Economic and Social Research Department who presented a paper titled “Promoting Trade and Investment in the OIC Countries: The Role of Capacity Building”. The paper assesses the recent performance of trade and investment in the OIC countries and highlights the role of capacity building in overcoming the obstacles that still hinder the efforts of those countries to increase their levels of trade and investment at both the national and intra-OIC levels.

Following a general deliberation in a summing-up session on all the themes of the Workshop, the participants agreed upon a set of recommendations with the overall aim of improving investment climate in OIC countries. These recommendations specify a set of actions that could be undertaken by the OIC member countries and institutions as well as the timeframe for each of these actions in the short, medium and long term.

The representative of the Centre, Mr. Nabil Dabour, Acting Director of Research Department, participated in the general debate on the recommendations and in preparing the final report of the Workshop.

The Workshop’s final report, including the recommendations, will be submitted to the 24th Session of the COMCEC for consideration by the member countries during the Exchange of Views Session.