The 2ndGeneral Assembly of the Islamic Organization for Food Security (IOFS) is to be held on 27-29 August of 2019 in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. Within the framework of the assembly, Kazakhstan intends to propose creation of several joint funds.
Gulmira Isaeva, the Vice Minister of Agriculture, tells Forbes.kz: “The first fund is a grain fund, the main purpose of which is to supply member countries with grain and flour, ”
Today, Muslim countries provide 70% of the world flour, and Kazakhstan, as a member of the OIC, has “a unique opportunity to increase its share of exports in the Muslim market”.
“All countries (members of the organization) are interested (in creation of the fund),” – says Isaeva. According to her estimates, Kazakhstan would be able to supply 1 to 1,5 million tons of grain and flour to the fund. Moreover, IOFS is creating an association of agricultural manufacturers for its’ country members, says vice-minister. “That means that direct contact would be established between the manufacturers, and consequently, importers will become involved with the association too. What will happen is that any request of any of the country members regarding any type of food supply will be handled directly between enterprise members of the association”, Isaeva explains. “Kazakhstan will also propose creation of an investment fund, which will allow country members of IOFS to distribute investments among their own circle of countries within the organization.”
“Many wealthy Muslim countries, such as UAE, Qatar, Bahrain, Saudi Arabia are interested in investing in Kazakhstan’s food industry. However, that requires our products to be 100% halal. That is why we have started negotiating back in 2017 on the EXPO platform, and are currently considering the establishment of halal production certification body in Kazakhstan. The certification body will be active throughout all of Central Asian regions. The most important requirement for OIC countries is that production technology and the final product must prove to be compliant to halal standards”, – Isaeva explains. Vice-minister stressed that these countries are already showing interest in current investment programs. The share of the investment fund might amount to $500 million and more.
Another initiative to be promoted is creation of a joint fund for innovational technologies and science. Gulmira Isaeva noted that organization members have fully supported all of those initiatives within the framework of preliminary arrangements.
Kazakhstan is a member of OIC since 1995. In 2011, the First President of the Republic of Kazakhstan, Nursultan Nazarbayev, has initiated creation of Islamic Organization for Food Security. Currently 33 countries out of 56 OIC countries have joined IOFS.
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