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null UAE emphasizes its support for economic integration efforts & collaboration among Islamic states at 38th COMCEC meeting in Istanbul

29 Nov 2022

UAE emphasizes its support for economic integration efforts & collaboration among Islamic states at 38th COMCEC meeting in Istanbul


  • E. Bin Touq: Islamic countries have great economic impact that qualifies them to serve as vital and sustainable gateways for global trade movement



H.E. Abdulla Bin Touq Al Marri, Minister of Economy, led the UAE delegation to the 38th Standing Committee session for Economic and Commercial Cooperation (COMCEC) of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) at the ministerial and senior official level. The meetings were held in Istanbul, Turkey, from 26 to 29 November.

In a speech during the meeting, H.E. Bin Touq said: “Under the leadership of HH Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, President of the UAE, and in line with our vision for the future, the UAE is keen to support OIC’s efforts and its plans to strengthen collaboration among Islamic states, as well as benefit from opportunities, drive the growth of our national economies, and formulate strategies that can face current and future challenges.”

H.E. added: “This meeting has special significance as it is happening at a time of substantial shifts in the global economic and trade landscapes. It highlights the importance of enhancing economic integration and collaboration among the Islamic states, and developing policies that can keep up with these changes. The COMCEC meeting is the most notable platform for decision making for the OIC member states, in order to create initiatives and programs that serve our economies in the long run, especially considering the impact they have on the global economy. The UAE is keen to maximize the mutual benefit with the markets of the Islamic world, especially in light of the continuous growth of its trade exchanges with the COMCEC markets. For instance, the volume of trade between the UAE and COMCEC states in 2021 amounted to nearly AED 650 billion with a growth rate of 26% compared to that of 2020.”

The Minister of Economy added that the Islamic states have great potential to contribute to the continuity of global supply chains despite the current circumstances that the world is facing, in addition to supplying strategic goods to markets around the world thanks to the region’s strategic location, which enables them to serve as gateways that facilitate global trade movement. This is evident in the volume of trade between the COMCEC states and the rest of the world, which reached nearly USD 4 trillion in 2021, accounting for 10% of total global commodities trade, 9.5% of global exports, and 10.5% of total global imports.

The UAE has developed a new economic model over the past years, explained H.E. Bin Touq, adding that the country’s new economic model addresses the demands of the current stage and establishes the foundations for the future in light of the objectives and principles of the 50 and the determinants of the UAE Centennial 2071. The new economic model allows 100% foreign ownership of companies, which contributed to stimulating FDI flows. Furthermore, it witnessed the launch of a leading strategy to attract talents and competencies in all strategic sectors; the adoption of innovative projects and initiatives in future sectors; and the development of an advanced legislative system in line with international best practices for the protection of intellectual property and creativity, which is currently attracting creators, innovators and prestigious trademarks in various fields.


The Minister of Economy emphasized the importance of the topics on the agenda of this year's meetings and the efforts of member states to develop the best solutions in response to various global economic developments, including the provision of effective social assistance and social and economic empowerment after the Covid-19 pandemic. He expressed his confidence that the strengthening of cooperation between the OIC countries in this regard can yield positive results, pointing out that the UAE is keen to support all efforts made in this direction, especially since it has moved on beyond the post-pandemic stage with effective solutions and strategies for sustainable growth in various sectors.


In addition, H.E. pointed out that the implementation of the objectives of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation 2025 program is an urgent necessity, especially since it aims to develop a multidimensional response to the challenges facing Islamic countries in the intellectual, cultural, political, social, economic, and development fields. He highlighted the need to improve the infrastructure of the transport and communication sector, develop the tourism sector and create opportunities to enhance its growth sustainably. He also confirmed the need to support Islamic cooperation in the field of food security through the localization of agricultural technology and food industries, since it is one of the main issues facing the region. It should be done in a way that contributes to enhancing the sustainable development efforts and the growth of the economies of Islamic countries and meeting the aspirations of their people.

Moreover, H.E. indicated the importance of activating the system of trade preferences among OIC member states and its pivotal role in increasing the volume of trade movements between them, especially since it can serve as a major enabler for establishing comprehensive trade partnerships between the OIC member states. He called on the private sector in the member states to benefit from the services of the OIC arbitration center immediately after its activation as an additional tool for settlement of trade and investment disputes. H.E further highlighted the need to deepen cooperation in e-commerce among member states, given the promising investment opportunities it holds that can contribute to supporting their economies, ensuring their sustainable growth, and enhancing their global competitiveness.

In his speech, H.E. Bin Touq confirmed that the UAE supports OIC’s efforts to address these issues by following best practices and solutions to drive the Islamic economies’ development towards greater heights.

On the sidelines of the meetings, H.E. Bin Touq met with Nouruddin Nabati, Turkish Minister of Treasury and Finance; Muhammad Moush, Turkish Minister of Trade; and Dr. Majid bin Abdullah Al-Qasabi, Saudi Minister of Trade, and explored ways to increase the volume of trade exchange and available investment opportunities.

The combined exports of the Arab countries to the COMCEC countries amounted to about USD 180 billion, while the imports amounted to  USD 200 billion annually. The total volume of Arab countries' trade with the COMCEC countries amounted to USD 380 billion in 2021.

OIC is the second largest international organization after the United Nations. It has 57 member countries spread over four continents. The organization, which was established in 1969, seeks to protect and express the interests of the Islamic world in addition to strengthening relations between the various peoples of the world. The Standing Committee for Economic and Commercial Cooperation of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (COMCEC) was established in 1981 as the fourth committee among the standing committees of the Organization, and entered into force in 1984. It mainly focuses on preparing programs for joint action and coordinating and following up on activities related to economic cooperation among member states.


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