Muslims Should Form IMF-like Institution

An interesting offer has been made to the Association of Independent Industrialists and Businessmen (MUSIAD).

Muslims Should Form IMF-like Institution

MUSIAD are host to the 10th International Business Forum, calling it "the Davos of the Islamic world."

The 10th International Business Forum in Istanbul is being attended by government officials from 15 countries in addition to 1,500 businessmen from 55 countries.

Former chairman of the association, Erol Yarar, who is presiding over the forum, said that, "an IMF-like structure has to be established amidst Islamic countries to be able to rid ourselves of the domination of international capital."

Yarar pointed out that if such an organization were founded, it would secure strong support from wealthy Muslim countries to poorer ones in light of the Islamic faith.

"Our strategy is different from that of the West. They live and work only for this world whereas we try to make this world as prosperous as possible for all people to attain to a higher station in the hereafter."

At the Grand Cevahir hotel in Istanbul, the forum began with a Quran recitation from the chapter of Al-i Imran and the Turkish national anthem.

Current MUSIAD chairman Omer Bolat said there wasn't enough cooperation among Muslim countries.

"Cooperation and solidarity between us cannot be said to be satisfying. Muslim countries' trade with other Muslim countries is only 13,5 percent of their imports and 16 percent of their exports in their general trade volume. The share of Muslim countries, who are members of the OIC, is only one percent in direct international investment."

According to the information Bolat gave, there are possible investments of $600 billion in Saudi Arabia, $300 billion in the United Arab Emirates, and $60 billion in Qatar and Algeria available in the next ten years.

The national incomes of the six countries in the Arabian Gulf have grown by one hundred percent in the last five years, reaching $720 billion.

Their oil income has risen to $370 billion. Their budget surpluses in the last two years have reached $300 billion. Forty percent of all raw materials and 65 percent of energy resources of the world are in Islamic countries.

While Turkey welcomed $60 billion in investments in 2005, direct investments by Arabian investors to Islamic countries rose to only to $25 billion.

Turkey's prime minister pointed out that there were groups who did not want Turkey to be an actor in the Middle East and make major contributions.

Pointing at the situation in Palestine, Iraq and Lebanon, Erdogan said, "Great troubles are brewing in the Middle East. On one hand they say, 'let's do something.' But I should ask you; are you going to do something by watching things from the sidelines? Are you going to solve everything only by giving advice?"

Touching on the matter of Turkish troops in Lebanon, the Turkish PM noted, "I'd like to address the Arab League from here; it is to give all its support, it must. This cannot be resolved by leaving Lebanon on its own. This cannot be left to the United Nations only. The U.N. is there. Why don't the countries of the Arab League say, 'We are sending in our troops?' So long as these are not implemented we cannot achieve anything by only putting our portraits in Lebanon. The answer to 'What have you done?' should at least be 'I have sent my troops and my troops are working hard.'

Erdogan said that it was high time the Islamic world take tangible steps to put into practice what they kept saying.

He touched on steps taken by Turkish entrepreneurs in the Middle East and stated that partnership between the Turkish Chamber Unions, the Palestine Chamber of Commerce and Israel, was working on a plan to build an industrial zone in the city of Erez in Palestine.

More than 50 foreign journalists are following the forum, uniting more than 1,500 businessmen who control $50 billion in capital.

Al-Jazeera TV is broadcasting to the world live. Turkish and foreign participants are staying at 15 hotels and the hotels are working full capacity. The biggest booking was from Syrian businessmen with 220 people.

Iraqi's demanded 160 rooms, Egyptians demanded 134 and Moroccans wanted 109 rooms.

Turkey to Benefit from $1 billion Fund

The Solidarity Fund of the Islamic Development Bank (IDB) reached $1 billion. The bank's president Ahmed Muhammad Ali said they could send some funds to undeveloped regions of Turkey from this fund.

Ali said they wanted the fund to reach $10 billion in the future. The IDB president also said they were very interested in the mortgage bill waiting to be accepted by the Turkish Parliament.

He added they could finance mortgage investments in Turkey by cooperating with a local bank in Turkey.

Ali also said Turkey needed to be more active in terms of an interest-free banking sector and added this kind of corporation would help Turkey to have stronger economic ties with Middle East countries.

Ali said interest-free banking has been developing rapidly around the world. Even western companies were interested in these banks. According to Ali, Turkey's main drawback was some legal imperfections and the problems stemming from this.

Ali said Middle Eastern capital escaped from United States and Europe in the post September 11 era but could serve Turkey in the tourism and construction areas especially.

So far, the IDP gave a total of $730.5 million dollars in construction loans and $146 million went to Turkish companies.

The total amount of funds that the IDP keeps exceeds $42 billion

Güncelleme Tarihi: 20 Eylül 2018, 18:16