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المحرر موضوع: UAE to Host Islamic Trade Expo  (زيارة 2052 مرات)

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UAE to Host Islamic Trade Expo
« في: يوم 13-04-2011 , س 23:35:58 pm »
UAE to Host Islamic Trade Expo



Economists and experts have urged Muslim countries to support trade and economic cooperation, and reinforce efforts by the Islamic Development Bank to activate Islamic financing.
They also called for finding alternatives to the traditional financial system and strengthening small and medium enterprises as an engine of economic growth in Muslim countries, AMEinfo reported.
Their views appear in a report prepared by the Studies and Research Department of Sharjah Chamber of Commerce and Industry on the occasion of hosting the 13th Islamic Trade Exhibition and the 14th Muslim Countries’ Private Sector Consortium simultaneously from April 24 to 29.
Stressing the importance of coordinating trade and investment and creating new markets, the experts maintained that challenges can only be met by increasing cooperation in sectors, such as tourism and agriculture, in light of the huge potential enjoyed of these countries, which is not reflected in the size of their trade exchange.

Resources and Potentials
The experts indicated that the huge resources and potential enjoyed by the Muslim countries impose upon them the need to activate even further trade among them so as to form a hub of economic integration.
They stressed the importance of regional trade in the establishment of an economic bloc, as it would strengthen its presence and position to be reckoned with among the world’s big economic blocs, given the growth expected to establish such a hub.
This would enable them to enhance their economies’ performance and growth, away from the position of just being a market for Western countries’ products and a mere supplier of energy resources and raw materials.
The report pointed to efforts by the Organization of Islamic Conference to achieve this goal by increasing the volume of trade exchange among its members to reach up to 20 percent of trade in Muslim countries by 2020, an increase from 10 percent in 2000 to 16.2 percent in 2007.
Economists stressed that any political discourse among Muslim countries will not be successful and fruitful unless the economy becomes one of its principal pillars, especially since the figures underlined the potential of these countries, which gives them the crucial opportunity of economic integration.
Muslim countries top the world’s energy resource providers, as Arab Persian Gulf states together with Algeria and Libya, are the main oil exporting countries, along with Indonesia and Iran.
Qatar and Iran are also the biggest natural gas exporters along with Russia. Muslim countries own about 73 percent of global oil reserves and produce 38.5 percent of global production. They also own about 40 percent of world reserves of natural gas.
Some of them have entered the field of manufacturing and export such as Indonesia and Malaysia, while others are rich in agricultural and water resources, such as Egypt and Sudan.

Sectarian Composition
The report pointed out that the weakness of the sectarian composition of production sectors in the Muslim countries is the main factor of weakness in trade among these countries, noting that the policies of production and development differ from one country to another.
As a result, there has been no real development in these countries as many markets developed without expanding with a low production.
The experts indicated that these countries pursued a policy of productivity without coordinating with the rest and imposed their own customs barriers, giving way to narrow and weak markets. These countries, says the report, focused on the industries of consumer durables used by a limited section of the community, and established modern and high-tech industries that are capital intensive. They used goods produced by industries of developed countries and the focus was on the petrochemical industry, iron ore, phosphates and cotton.

Obstacles and Solutions
The report indicated that the most important obstacles are in the nature of exports from Muslim states, most of which constitute raw materials, as well as the utter reliance of developing countries on developed countries as a source of imports.
It also noted the developing countries’ preference for imported goods in pursuit of huge profits.
As for solutions to address obstacles facing trade among Muslim countries, the report called for restructuring exports by Muslim countries to enable them meet their needs, in keeping with international standards of competitiveness in terms of quality and price.
The report also stressed the need to establish industrial policies that complement those of Muslim countries to help the export sector stimulate productive sectors associated with it in these countries, instead of practicing isolationism policy in the export sectors.
It also called for currency unification and monetary integration, which are one of the ultimate goals of regional arrangements that help forge international economic relations.

Food Security
The report also called for confronting the great challenges facing the nation, most notably the support of food security, investment and trade, stressing the necessity of making the use of wealth to achieve food security among Muslim countries.
It underlined the huge profits that can be generated from investment in the agriculture sector and its competitiveness, particularly through strategic partnerships among sovereign funds, entrepreneurs and financing institutions, reminding that many Muslim countries enjoy huge water resources and rich agricultural land.
A majority of agricultural projects are concentrated in African countries, as some of them have provided facilities, including tax exemptions for many investors, such as Morocco and Sudan. Other states like Egypt are considering offering tax breaks, while Sudan remains the main recipient of most agricultural investments.

$1.28 Trillion Trade
The figures indicate that the value of trade among the member-states of the Organization of Islamic Conference reached $1.28 trillion in 2009, equivalent to about 10.47 percent of the total world trade, with a record decline of 31.2 percent, compared with the size of trade among Muslim countries in 2008.
The value of UAE’s trade, for instance, with Muslim countries in 2009 amounted to $50.5 billion, representing 11.73 percent of OIC trade, followed by Turkey with a trade volume amounting to $46.34 billion, which is 10.86 percent of its total trade.
Trade among OIC countries, including exports and imports, reached $426.75 billion in 2009 against $551.3 billion in 2008, a drop of 22.5 percent.

Growing Interest
The report stressed that any talk about Muslim trade ties should include a number of themes, most notably trade financing, production and export of goods.
It pointed to what it called a market trend and a growing interest by financial institutions in Islamic finance, either by opening Islamic windows or with the emergence of new Islamic institutions, indicating the success of Islamic institutions in the face of financial crisis.
The experts believe many challenges hinder trade among Muslim countries, including tariff and non-tariff barriers such as laws of banking and financial institutions that need to improve their services.
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