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Al-Quds and Konya as Islamic Tourism Capitals for 2015-2016

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(Jeddah-AlummahWorld, Safar 09, 1436, 01 Dec 2014) The Secretary General of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC), Iyad Ameen Madani, announced the choice of Al-Quds Ash-Sharif and Konya in Turkey as the capitals of Islamic tourism for 2015 and 2016 respectively.

In his speech to the General Assembly of the Standing Committee on Economic and Commercial Cooperation (COMCEC), one of the OIC organs, at Istanbul on Thursday, the Secretary General recalled the important resolutions of the last coordination meeting held in Jakarta, Indonesia on 2 and 3 June 2014 and presided over by the chair of the Islamic Conference of Tourism Ministers, where the capitals of Islamic tourism for the next two years were chosen after a consideration of the nominations submitted by Member States.

Madani focused on the utmost importance of institutional reforms and improving synergy and coordination among various OIC institutions. He said that work was going on to develop a new OIC programme of action (2016-2025), in coordination with OIC institutions. He expressed the hope that allocation of sufficient resources, result-oriented focus and strong institutional capacities would boost the renewed efforts towards enhancing the OIC’s dynamism and capacity to confront contemporary developmental challenges.

The President of the Republic of Turkey and chairman of COMCEC, Recep Tayyep Erdoghan, had on Thursday 27 November 2014 in Istanbul inaugurated the 30th session of the COMCEC General Assembly in the presence of the OIC Secretary General, relevant ministers of OIC Member States and heads of OIC affiliated institutions.

In his speech, the Turkish President explained that the OIC Member States had in recent years taken major steps at the level of trade and development indicators with their share of global trade having increased by 50% in the last decade. He also mentioned that internal trade had made progress in the same period, with intra-OIC trade growing by more than 50%. While the real average global growth rate was 7.2% between 2000 and 2012, the growth rate in the OIC Member States for the same period was 5.4%, the President said.

He added that despite the good performance of the economy, trade development among OIC Member States still required further steps to be taken by Member States concerned to give effect to the Trade Preferential System, the legal procedures of which was completed in 2011.

In his speech, the President of the Islamic Development Bank (IDB), Dr Ahmad Mohamed Ali, stressed the need for the OIC institutions, including the IDB and COMCEC, to support the new OIC programme of action.

The General Assembly of COMCEC is held every year to review the economic and development activities of OIC Member States in the previous year. The current session of the General Assembly which began on 265 November 2014 is focused on the role of public and private sector companies in the development of the tourism sector in OIC Member States.

The General Assembly also discussed developments in the global economy, with particular reference to the OIC Member States, the expansion of intra-trade in the OIC, promoting the role of the private sector in economic cooperation, developing means of transportation and communication, developing a sustainable and competitive tourism sector, increasing productivity in the agriculture sector, sustaining food security, eradicating poverty and supporting financial cooperation.