The most crowded province of Turkey, Istanbul, is set to host the 34th meeting of the Standing Committee for Economic and Commercial Cooperation of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (COMCEC), which will kick off today.
The four day event, chaired by President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, will be held under the theme of "Facilitating Trade: Customs Risk Management."
According to a statement released by the Strategy and Budget Office, the "Ministerial Session" organized within the scope of COMCEC's 34th meeting, whose opening session is expected to be chaired by President Erdoğan, will be held on Nov. 28-29.
The member countries will be represented by the delegations headed by ministers during the meeting to be held at the Istanbul Congress Center. Prior to the aforementioned sessions, high-level experts will hold technical discussions on the issues on the agenda.
The ministerial meeting will focus on "Facilitating Trade: Improving Customs Risk Management Systems in the Organisation of the Islamic Cooperation (OIC) Member States."
In the "Ministerial Exchange of Views" session to be chaired by Vice President Fuat Oktay, countries' experiences on customs risk management will be shared, and what will be done to increase cooperation between Islamic countries will be evaluated in detail.
Furthermore, the meeting will handle the recent developments regarding the efforts to develop economic and commercial cooperation among member states of COMCEC and discuss the issues on the annotated draft agenda adopted at the 34th Meeting of the Follow-Up Committee of COMCEC held in Ankara on May 9-10.
Representatives of relevant OIC institutions and international organizations, as well as the delegations of the member states, will attend the meetings.
Within the framework of the event, a series of special events will be held on Nov. 29 to address the many aspects of customs risk management under the concept of facilitating trade. High-level representatives from the public and private sectors, top officials of international organizations and academicians will also be present as speakers during these special panels.
Important projects are being carried out under COMCEC, while work is also underway to establish an "OIC Arbitration Center" proposed by President Erdoğan during the 13th Islamic Summit. This center will be run under the auspicious of the Union of Chambers and Commodity Exchanges of Turkey (TOBB) in cooperation with the Islamic Chamber of Commerce, Industry and Agriculture (ICCIA) and will serve as a platform where both commercial and investment-related disputes among the OIC member countries can be resolved. The project on the establishment of the center has reached its final stage.
Meanwhile, the works on the establishment of the COMCEC Gold Stock Exchange and the Real Estate Securities Exchange continue. The two projects, which will offer alternative investment opportunities to Islamic countries, will contribute to the deepening of the financial cooperation among them.
The Trade Preferential System among the Member States of the OIC (TPS-OIC), which is considered to be COMCEC's most important project for increasing trade among the Islamic countries, has also reached its final stage. The system will become operational with three member-countries forwarding the current concession lists.
With 57 members and five observers, COMCEC stands out as the international organization with the highest number of members after the United Nations. Serving as the main decision-making body at the ministerial level and seeking solutions to the development issues of Islamic countries, the platform has been meeting at the ministerial level annually since 1984 and realizing many important projects and programs to develop economic and commercial cooperation among member countries.