On 6 February, a meeting was held between delegation of IOFS and top managers of Islamic Development Bank Group (IsDB) Vice President of Operations of IsDB Dr. Mansur Muhtar, Vice President of Administration of IsDB Mr. Sayed Aqa and Chief Operating Officer of ITFC Mr. Nazeem Noordali, and IsDB Task Force to discuss implementation of joint MoU. The meetings were very informative and productive. Parties discussed joint programs and projects within MoU, namely joint (Three Year) Action Plan 2020-2023:
An important element of action plan with IsDB would be the development of strategic commodities, such as wheat, cassava, and rice. For instance, wheat is a staple grain as it is grown in many OIC countries. Among a number of cultivated plants, wheat is the second most consumed grain after rice by weight equivalent. Consequently, action plans for the abovementioned products require considerable financing or investments within the OIC food security agenda.
IsDB also showed interest in strategic partnerships within the IFPA program. IsDB noted that IFPA would create favorable conditions for further development of the domestic food industry and its export potential by attracting Islamic finance and investment, and strengthening international trade and economic cooperation in OIC states. Furthermore, parties agreed to hold joint events in 2020 (working groups, seminars, and conferences) aimed at the development of trade/investment and agro-industry of OIC countries.
In addition, IOFS and IsDB discussed partnership within Reverse Linkage Programme to support triangular cooperation in OIC member states in the food security domain. They mentioned successful cases such as the Arab Africa Trade Bridge, three reverse linkage programs between Tunisia and Guinea (mango, cashew), Palestine and Mauritania (small farming), Malaysia and Indonesia (rice/mango), and cotton factor enabling stronger food security in African countries.
Sides elaborated on utilizing possibilities generated by the ICD-ITFC-ICIEC synergy committee for agricultural development and food security. Other issues discussed include comprehensive support of halal trade in the Central Asian region and coordination of cooperation with international organizations and experience exchange in organization administration/ management. IOFS and the IsDB technical assistance also spoke about the Grant in detail and agreed to conduct video conferences weekly.
During talks with ITFC (International Islamic Trade Finance Corporation), IOFS identified five areas for trade-related cooperation: trade promotion, trade finance, trade facilitation, strategic commodities, and capacity building. ITFC indicated a strong interest in synergizing joint efforts and briefed on the corporate FIT model (F for flagship, I for integration, T for targeted intervention). Delegates also mentioned the need to establish a distinct window for agricultural trade in ITFC.