37th MINISTERIAL MEETING OF THE COMCEC
November 24-25, 2021, Istanbul
37th Ministerial Meeting of the COMCEC was held in November 24-25, 2021 at Istanbul Congress Center.
Having commenced with the video message of our President of the Republic Mr. Recep Tayyip ERDOĞAN, the Opening Session of the meeting was chaired by the Vice President of the Republic Mr. Fuat OKTAY, on behalf of our Honorable President.
At the Opening Session, the Trade Preferential System among the member states of the Organization of the Islamic Cooperation (TPS-OIC) was introduced, and the OIC/COMCEC 50 Shariah Index and the launching ceremony of the OIC Arbitration Center were conducted.
The afternoon session of the Ministerial Working Group was chaired by Vice President of the Republic Mr. Fuat OKTAY. During this year’s COMCEC Ministerial Exchange of Views Session, the subject “The Role of Islamic Finance in Supporting Microenterprises and SMEs Against Covid-19 Pandemic” has been addressed, and the Ministers have shared the experiences of their countries.
With the chairmanship of our Vice President of the Republic Mr. Fuat OKTAY, important decisions were made on the subjects within COMCEC’s agenda during the Closing Session which was held in November 25, 2021. Within this scope, inclusion of digital transformation to the cooperation scopes of the COMCEC was agreed upon. 37th Ministerial Session of the COMCEC has ended with the closing speech by Mr. OKTAY.
Also, within the scope of the 37th Meeting of the COMCEC, the Ministers of Trade have gathered in November 25, 2021 to discuss the final preparations for the implementation of TPS-OIC.
“The Role of Islamic Finance in Supporting Microenterprises and SMEs against Covid-19 Pandemic” has been addressed in this year’s COMCEC Meeting
During the Ministerial Exchange of Views Session, countries’ experiences about subjects such as the works of Islamic Finance Organizations, the role of regulatory and supervisory agencies, and regional and international collaborations regarding the utilization of Islamic Finance products and means by the SMEs that have an influence on many areas after COVID-19 pandemic both in terms of economic and social aspects have been shared, and the ways of enhancing the cooperation between Muslim countries on this subject have been discussed. Within this scope, the Ministers have acknowledged the policy recommendations as prepared by COMCEC Financial Cooperation Working Group.
Important Programs and Projects are being put into practice within the Scope of the COMCEC
- OIC Arbitration Center is starting its Activities
Having been expressed by our Honorable President during his speech at the 13th Islamic Summit Conference, the proposal of establishing the OIC Arbitration Center is now being put into practice. The technical works that have been carried out by the Union of Chambers and Commodity Exchanges of Turkey and the Islamic Chamber of Commerce, Industry and Agriculture (ICCIA) for establishing the OIC Arbitration Center is now complete. Constituting the legal foundation of the Center, the Host Country Agreement has been signed by the chairmanship of our Honorable President during the 35th Ministerial Session of the COMCEC.
The launching of the Center was made during the Opening Session of the meeting. As a platform that was founded in Istanbul and that has the potential to resolve the disputes between the OIC Member States both in terms of trade and investment, the Center is a significant achievement for our country.
- Trade Preferential System among the Member States of the Organization of the Islamic Cooperation (TPS-OIC) is Now Being Put into Practice
As COMCEC’s most important project towards enhancing the trade among Muslim countries, it is now the final stage for the de facto operation of the Trade Preferential System Among the Member States of the Organization of the Islamic Cooperation (TPS-OIC) after the completion of its legal foundation.
As proposed at the 36th Ministerial Meeting of the COMCEC, the Trade Negotiating Committee has convened in June 1-2, 2021. As a historical decision towards the de facto operation of the System, the Committee determined July 1, 2022 as the implementation date of the TPS-OIC. Participating countries were asked to complete their national regulations as of that date.
A video presentation for the introduction of TPS-OIC was made during the Opening Session of the Meeting. Besides, the Ministers of Trade have gathered within the scope of the Meeting in November 25, 2021. The Ministers have discussed the latest preparations for the implementation of the TPS-OIC, and confirmed July 1, 2022 as the date of the implementation of the System.
- OIC COMCEC 50 Shariah Index
As developed by Istanbul Stock Exchange within the scope of the OIC Exchanges Forum and consisting of 50 stocks from 19 member states, the OIC COMCEC 50 Shariah Index is being calculated and published since 2012.
A fund has been established by Ziraat Portfolio with the initiation of Istanbul Stock Exchange within the scope of product development efforts that are based on Index and subject to trading. The OIC COMCEC Shariah Index Fund was launched at the 37th COMCEC Meeting Opening Session.
Multidimensional Development Efforts at COMCEC
Having started its activities after the President of the Republic of Turkey undertook the permanent chairmanship of the COMCEC at the 4th Islamic Summit Conference held in Casablanca in 1984, the COMCEC has been carrying out its efforts for 37 years without interruption.
As the second international platform with most members after the United Nations with its 57 members and 5 observer countries, COMCEC has put into practice many important projects such as funding the trade between the member countries, investment and trade assurance, trade fairs, private sector meetings, halal food standards to enhance the economic and commercial cooperation among the member countries.
With its COMCEC Strategy which has gained its functionality in 2013, the COMCEC is further reinforcing its mission as to being a multidimensional international economic cooperation platform that constitutes a basis for enhancing the collaboration, producing knowledge, and approximation of policies through its Working Groups which were founded in 6 areas (Trade, Agriculture, Tourism, Transportation, Poverty Alleviating, and Financial Cooperation) between Muslim countries.
COMCEC Financial Support Programs
- Policy Recommendations Embraced in COMCEC Ministerial Meeting are being put into practice
With its COMCEC Project Funding (CPF) Mechanism as another important implementation medium of COMCEC Strategy, human and corporate capacities of the member countries are being deployed for collaboration under COMCEC. With the said mechanism, projects of the member countries and relevant OIC organizations towards the implementation of COMCEC Ministerial policy recommendations are being funded. Within this framework, 83 projects have been successfully implemented since 2014. This year, 25 projects are being put into practice.
- Efforts for the mitigation of the negative effects of COVID-19 Pandemic is being supported.
Preparations for the COMCEC COVID Response Program that aims to support member countries in the fight against COVID-19 pandemic have been swiftly completed last year, and the first project has been called for in October 2020. The main purpose of the program is to mitigate the negative effect of the pandemic on the economies of the member countries. Within this framework, it is aimed to ensure the financial support for needs analysis, experience sharing, and the provision of the goods and services that member countries need.
In this context, 9 projects are being supported in 2021 within the scope of COVID Response Program.
- COMCEC Al Quds Program for the economic and social development of Al Quds continues.
Having commenced by the COMCEC Coordination Office in 2020, it is aimed to make a contribution to the economic and social development of Palestine through the COMCEC Al Quds Program.
Main objects of the program are to further promote Al Quds as a tourism destination, to make a contribution to the preservation of the cultural heritage and archaeological structure in Al Quds, to ensure the rehabilitation of national cultural identity and touristic architecture, and to enhance the capacity of the institutions and organizations in local and national scale.
Accordingly, 9 projects are being supported this year within the scope of the COMCEC Al Quds Program.