On August 18, 2021, the IOFS conducts an international online conference within the framework of the “National Food Sectors Development in Cooperation with State Investment Agencies” program to explore ways of improving foreign direct investments into the OIC agro-food sector and facilitating food supply chains between OIC countries. IOFS being a specialised multilateral institution of OIC encourages trade and investments in the agro-food sector of the OIC region at the G2G and B2B levels. The International IFPA, the IOFS subsidiary that performs its B2B functions is working to identify potential partnerships and investment opportunities in the area of food processing and support food clusters in the IOFS member countries via quasi-government entities as IPA’s and ECAs, and international associations such as WAIPA and Aman Union.
To date, IOFS works with a number of IPA’s of OIC MCs, namely with Kazakh Invest, DUBAI FDI, Investment Promotion Agency of Turkey, AZPROMO, Uzbekistan Investment Promotion Agency. It is worth noting that the Action Plan signed between IOFS and Kazakh Invest in September 2020 includes a list of potential investment projects in the food sector and documents framework-regulating relations with all OIC IPAs.
The low investment activity and attractiveness, the impact of climate change and the financial instability of the agricultural producers are considered some of the key problems of the agro-industry. The conference aimed to enhance the image and visibility of the intra-OIC investments and trade to assist the development of the food processing sector, sales networks and food clusters.
The welcoming remarks from Director-General of Islamic Centre for Development of Trade H.E. Mrs. Latifa EL-BOUABDELLAOUI, Chief Executive Officer of the Islamic Corporation for the Insurance of Investment and Export Credit H.E. Mr. Oussama Abdel Rahman Kaissi, Secretary-General of the Islamic Chamber of Commerce, Industry and Agriculture H.E. Mr. Yousef Hasan Khalawi, and Director General of the Islamic Organization H.E. Mr. Yerlan A. Baidaulet opened the event.
The Director-General of IOFS invited all relevant institutions to cooperate, noting that: “Only partnership along with the powerful and ongoing work among international, governmental, corporate, and private stakeholders within the Muslim World could address so many food shortages challenges.”
The event was attended by the representatives of the investment promotion agencies, OIC specialized institutions, ministries and governmental bodies of the OIC countries. They exchanged views on the improvement of the investment climate in the OIC and conceptualization of appropriate investment promotion strategies and regulations, shared their investment portfolios and brought forward numerous suggestions.
The IOFS is planning to review all proposals carefully and prepare recommendations to encourage the intra-OIC trade and investments to build up value chains of domestic food processing and sustainable food system.