On the last day of the 37th Ministerial Session of the Standing Committee for Economic and Commercial Cooperation of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (COMCEC), 25 November 2021, in Istanbul, Republic of Turkey, His Excellency Mr. Yerlan A. Baidaulet, the Director General of the Islamic Organization of Food Security (IOFS), started by addressing the Opening Ceremony of the 7th World Halal Summit, which is yearly organized by the Standards and Metrology Institute for Islamic Countries (SMIIC), an affiliated Institution of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC).
In his address, the Director General underlined that the IOFS Secretariat was ready to offer the platform for the OIC Member States to establish a mutual Recognition Center in the Food Safety and Halal Food program framework to promote the initiated enhancement and development of the “Gene to Fork” modality, and, in this context, welcomed all interested Member States and relevant OIC Institutions to make the proposed Center a reality.
Later on, the Mr. Yerlan met with Mr. İsmail Erşahin, the Executive Director of the World Association of Investment Promotion Agencies (WAIPA), with whom he discussed matters of mutual interest, including the possibility of establishing an institutionalized cooperation to serve common Member States within the IOFS Strategic Framework Pillar D that has to do with Private Sector Driven Agro-Food Trade and Investment Promotion. The two sides agreed a joint technical meeting to take place virtually on 30 November 2021 with aim of developing a bilateral working platform.
The 37th COMCEC Ministerial Session, as expected, closed with adoption of resolutions and other relevant documents that formed the proceedings of the two-day meeting.
Before leaving Istanbul, the IOFS Director General visited the premises of the Investment Office of the Presidency of the Republic of Turkey to officiate the starting of an excellent and result oriented relationship between the two entities towards improving agro-business investment opportunities in Member States presenting low human development indicators, particularly in Africa. During the visit, a memorandum of understanding was signed with His Excellency Mr. Burak Dağlıoğlu, the President of the Investment Office, and he took the opportunity to share his views on what such auspicious occasion meant for the IOFS by highlighting that i) national food sectors development in cooperation with state investment agencies, ii) activities of the International Islamic Food Processing Association (IFPA), and iii) establishing a database for investors could be initial programs where the two Institutions would work together, as well as invited the Investment Office to be one of the leading partners in implementing relevant projects in 2022, which was chosen as IOFS Year for Africa. On his part, Mr. Burak welcomed all the proposals and showed readiness for providing all necessary support for a fruitful cooperation with IOFS, particularly in relation to the proposed initiatives to be held in Africa in 2022.
Nur-Sultan, 25 November 2021
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