PRESIDENT OF THE REPUBLIC ERDOĞAN OPENED THE COMCEC MEETING President of the Republic Mr. Recep Tayyip Erdoğan opened the 31st Ministerial Session of the COMCEC (The Standing Committee for Economic and Commercial Cooperation of the Organization of the Islamic Cooperation). Besides the President, Mr. Mustafa Elitaş, Minister of Economy; Mr. Cevdet Yılmaz, Minister of Development; Mr. Vasip Şahin, Governor of Istanbul; Mr. Kadir Topbaş, Metropolitan Mayor of Istanbul, Rifat Hisarcıklıoğlu, President of The Union of Chambers and Commodity Exchanges of Turkey (TOBB); Dr. Ahmad Mohamed Ali Al Madani, President of Islamic Development Bank and several businessmen from Turkey and abroad attended the meeting.

The meeting held in Istanbul Congress Centre was opened with readings from Quran. Mr. Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, President of the Turkish Republic and Chairman of COMCEC made a speech in the opening ceremony noting that the intra-organizational trade reached twenty percent of the trade volume of the participating countries and told: “Today the majority of the population of COMCEC countries is trying to hold on to life within the borders of extreme poverty. At one side there are people who cannot meet their needs, while at the other side billions of dollars are spent for garishness. We are Muslim to the extent of our brotherhood.”

President of the Republic Erdoğan stated that COMCEC would play a critical role at this stage and added: “I am pleased to hear that 22 projects were implemented in 2 years of time. There are important efforts for financial cooperation with active participation in COMCEC. This year Turkey has been appreciated for the hospitality in the G-20 summit, we hope to do the honours to important summits and meetings in our country in the coming year.”

Rifat Hisarcıklıoğlu, President of The Union of Chambers and Commodity Exchanges of Turkey (TOBB) said in his speech that Turkey is working hard for the solidarity within the Islamic World and added: “The world has been going through harsh times since global economic crisis. Economic and political equilibrium is changing. There are the labour pains of a new global era. As the Islamic World we should carefully study these developments.

The COMCEC meeting ended after the speeches with the signing ceremony and shooting of the family photo. The activities within the COMCEC Ministerial Session will continue on Thursday November 26th, 2015 with the special sessions of Targets of Sustainable Development and Post-2015 Development Agenda.

The Ministerial Session of the COMCEC is being held every year following the first meeting in 1984. These sessions take place with the attendance of the ministers from member countries with agendas including issues on communication, transportation, energy, technical cooperation, economy, infrastructure and public works. The Standing Committee is convened on ministerial level. Turkey is the Chairman of the Standing Committee.