I have a new piece in the Hurriyet Daily News, here is the article and some pictures that were not published to go with them:
Sunday, November 8, 2009
ISTANBUL - Hürriyet Daily News
The head of Turkey’s Union of Chamber and Commodity Exchanges, or TOBB, met with the head of the Islamic Development Bank, or IDB, on Saturday to announce future cooperation plans.
Rifat Hisarcıklıoğlu, head of TOBB, pledged to increase joint projects, of which two were completed last year, to a total of six.
“We believe that we will do important work, beneficial work for the Islamic communities,” Hisarcıklıoğlu said
This cooperation follows the memorandum of understanding signed between the two organizations in Jeddah on Feb. 5.
Ahmed Muhammad Ali, head of the IDB, said he was grateful for the continued cooperation between the two organizations, telling his counterpart, “You are helping the IDB to achieve its goal and its mission.”
The projects outlined by Hisarcıklıoğlu focus on investments in Africa and the Middle East, including a “capacity-building program for Iranian chambers [of commerce] and knowledge-sharing of Turkey’s economic development progress.”
The regional, private sector and economic integration policy signaled by TOBB on Saturday comes on the heels of important diplomatic agreements between Turkey and Iran, including a large bilateral deal on natural gas transit. Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad is expected to arrive Monday for the OIC conference.
The Turkish government has a 7.7 percent stake in the IDB, while the IDB’s current operations in Turkey stand at $1.6 billion.
The meeting took place on the sidelines of Saturday’s meeting of the Organization of the Islamic Conference’s, or OIC, Standing Committee for Economic and Commercial Cooperation, COMCEC. Ministerial meetings at the COMCEC conference looked at other broader issues affecting OIC countries, including the food crisis, the financial crisis and energy cooperation.