UAE participates in annual meetings of IsDB Group

UAE participates in annual meetings of IsDB Group

Jeddah, The Gulf Observer: Mohamed Hadi Al Hussaini, Minister of State for Financial Affairs, headed the UAE delegation participating in the Annual Meetings of the Islamic Development Bank (IsDB) Group, which were held under the theme “Partnerships to Fend off Crises” and took place from 10th to 13th May in Jeddah, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.

The meetings focused on improving cooperation to tackle challenges faced by members of the Islamic Development Bank Group.

The UAE’s delegation included Saeed Rashid Al Yateem, Assistant Undersecretary for Government Budget and Revenue Sector at Ministry of Finance, as well as several senior officials and specialists from the Ministry.

The Governors of the 57 member countries of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC), as well as senior government officials, heads of international organisations, and several specialists and experts working in the field of development participated in the Annual Meetings. Leaders and policy makers use these meetings to study different issues, such as reducing poverty, building infrastructure, addressing climate change, and a number of other important topics.

The Annual Meetings included the 48th Annual Meeting of the Board of Governors of the Islamic Development Bank, the 30th Annual Meeting of the Board of Governors of the Islamic Corporation for Insurance of Investments and Export Credits, the 23rd General Assembly meeting of the Islamic Corporation for the Development of the Private Sector, the 18th Assembly Meeting of the International Islamic Trade Finance Corporation, the 16th Annual Meeting of the Board of Governors of the Islamic Solidarity Fund for Development, the meeting of the Supreme Council of the Al Aqsa Fund and the Governors’ Roundtable Meeting.

Partnerships and the promotion of sustainable economic growth:
Mohamed bin Hadi Al Hussaini also attended the Governors’ Roundtable Meeting, which focused on partnerships and enhancing cooperation between countries.

Al Hussaini emphasised the importance of this event as a vital platform to enhance multilateral regional dialogue, coordination and cooperation, which has become a paramount necessity to proactively enhance the region’s readiness to face various challenges and promote sustainable economic growth.

He also highlighted the importance of focusing on strengthening partnerships, which has become a major priority at this stage, especially considering the increase in global economic uncertainty, as well as the expected deceleration in economic growth and its effects on the member countries of the Islamic Development Bank.

He noted that it is necessary to develop programmes that enable the exchange of policies and the provision of technical assistance to contribute to providing innovative ways to enhance the Islamic finance system and its products, including digitisation, sustainability and enabling entrepreneurship. This, in turn, will contribute to enhancing the attractiveness of the sector and advancing development efforts.

He said: “The UAE is considered one of the most developed countries in the Islamic finance sector, and we are keen and ready to exchange experiences gained in this field and provide all means of support for efforts aimed at developing the Islamic finance system.”

He also noted that the future of social finance depends largely on digitisation and the participation of the private sector. Accordingly, the UAE launched several pioneering initiatives that contribute to providing a wide range of payment channels to facilitate the flow of funds for social development, as well as enhancing the participation of the private sector through capacity-building programmes. This, in turn, contributed to an increase in companies’ compliance with the guidelines related to Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR).

When concluding his speech, he invited all participants to attend the 28th session of the Conference of the Parties (COP28), which is being hosted by the UAE in Expo City Dubai from November 30 to December 12, 2023, with the aim of continuing cooperation to overcome various challenges and strengthen global efforts to address climate change.

On the sidelines of the Annual Meetings, Mohamed bin Hadi Al Hussaini met with a number of finance ministers and senior officials in regional institutions and organisations.

He had a meeting with Dr. Mohamed Maait, Minister of Finance of the Arab Republic of Egypt, to discuss relations between the two countries and the Egyptian economic situation.

He also met with Ashni Kumar Singh, Minister of Finance of the Republic of Guyana, to discuss the best ways to enhance cooperation and review the latest economic developments in Guyana.

Additionally, Al Hussaini met with Dr. Ehsan Khandouzi, Iranian Minister of Economic and Financial Affairs, where the meeting touched on the importance of stimulating trade exchange and increasing investments between the two countries.

He also met with Akinwumi Adesina, President of the African Development Bank Group, to discuss how the bank will participate in COP28, where Adesina invited the UAE to join the African Development Bank.

Al Hussaini extended an invitation to the Group’s President to attend the Conference of the Parties (COP28) and met with Laura Frigenti, CEO of the Global Partnership for Education (GPE), who thanked the UAE for their support and contribution to the “Global Partnership for Education” initiative.

Furthermore, the annual meetings also included high-level plenary sessions, interactive panel discussions, technical sessions and other events covering a wide range of topics including poverty alleviation, infrastructure development, health, education, food security, climate change, and innovation.

It also provided a space for member countries to present their development projects and initiatives and strengthen partnerships to achieve impactful results.

The UAE is one of the main founders of the bank, having become a member in 1974 and owns a share of 7.52 percent of its subscribed capital amounting to 55.5 billion Islamic dinars (equivalent to USD 77.2 billion).

The UAE also hosts the office of The Islamic Corporation for the Insurance of Investment and Export Credit, and a branch of the International Islamic Trade Finance Corporation.