Closer links a must among Islamic bloc: TOBB head

Closer links a must among Islamic bloc: TOBB head

Closer links a must among Islamic bloc: TOBB head

Islamic nations should make a preferential trade deal, according to TOBB head Rifat Hisarcıkoğlu.

Trade barriers should be removed among Islamic countries in order for them to realize their own economic potential, according to the head of the Union of Chambers and Commodity Exchanges of Turkey (TOBB), Rifat Hisarcıkoğlu.

“The 57 Islamic countries have a vast array of rich economic resources at their disposal, around 65 percent of the world’s oil and gas reserves, but a majority of us unfortunately have not been able to make use of this potential. The share of Islamic nations in the world economy is no more than 11 percent. We should aim to be completely integrated into the world economy, using rich natural resources for the sake of the region and the world,” said Hisarcıklıoğlu, speaking in Tehran at a meeting of the Islamic Chamber of Commerce, Industry and Agriculture (ICCIA). He also holds the position of vice-president of the ICCIA.

'21 Islamic nations among least developed bloc'

Hisarcıkoğlu noted that only 10 of all 57 Islamic countries engaged in trade across the bloc, accounting for a figure of around 73 percent of its total trade volume.

“This is a shame on all of us. Some preferential trade systems should be put into effect as soon as possible among all Islamic countries,” he said, asking for help from his Iranian counterparts to assist in realizing this target.

“It is sad to see 21 Islamic countries among the least developed countries. We need to build closer ties and strengthen our trade relations,” said Iran’s First Vice-President, Eshaq Jahangiri, during the meeting.

Delegations from Turkey, Iran, Pakistan, Jordan, the UAE, Uganda, Nigeria, Kuwait, Egypt, Iraq, Niger, Oman, Palestine, Qatar and Sudan attended the meetings.