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OIC Economies
OIC wrap: Key Mideast countries look to bolster bilateral agreements

Here's a roundup of key developments across the OIC ecosystem during the first two weeks of November

Editor's note: Cross-border agreements have historically been a stronghold in the Middle East, leveraging strategic strengths of partner countries for transnational gains. If anything, this has gained momentum in recent times. 

Qatar held key discussions to bolster trade and investment with Senegal, and is looking to review ties with Lebanon. Other GCC nations Oman and Saudi look to establish projects in economic zones, while the UAE and Jordan sign a massive investment MoU to boost bilateral cooperation. 


Trade Developments

Qatar / Senegal
Qatar, Senegal review trade, investment ties
Qatar's Minister of Commerce and Industry, Sheikh Mohammed bin Hamad bin Qassim Al Thani, held discussions with the visiting Minister of Commerce, Consumer Affairs, and Small and Medium Enterprises of Senegal, Abdou Karim Fofana.

The meeting centered on mutual interests, focusing on bolstering collaboration in trade, investment, and industry between the two nations. (The Peninsula Qatar)

Saudi Arabia
Friday’s Saudi-African Summit set to establish strategic cooperation in key sectors
The upcoming Saudi-African Summit in Riyadh is anticipated to play a pivotal role in fostering strategic cooperation across political, economic, investment, security, and cultural domains, assert knowledgeable sources.

The summit aims to strengthen mutual interests, promoting development and stability between Saudi Arabia and African nations. (Zawya)

Bahrain-Bosnia trade ties to get a boost with reciprocal visa regime
The anticipated implementation of a reciprocal visa system between Bahrain and Bosnia and Herzegovina is poised to bolster bilateral trade and investments.

Jawad Al Hawaj, Chairman of the Bahrain-Bosnia and Herzegovina Friendship and Business Society, anticipates that this move will significantly contribute to fostering cooperation in the realms of economy, tourism, and culture. (Zawya)

Oman / Saudi Arabia
Oman, Saudi Arabia discuss opportunities to establish projects in economic zones
In Riyadh, discussions unfolded on Tuesday regarding the potential for strengthening economic cooperation and exploring investment opportunities within the economic zones, free zones, and industrial cities of the Sultanate of Oman.

Held at the Federation of Saudi Chambers, the meeting convened a delegation from Oman's economic zones, free zones, and industrial cities, alongside members of the Saudi-Omani Business Council and prominent representatives from major companies and businessmen in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. (Zawya)

Qatar / Azerbaijan
Qatar, Azerbaijan sign agreement to enhance labour ties
Qatar and Azerbaijan have inked a memorandum of understanding (MoU) to strengthen cooperation in labor-related matters. The agreement, signed on the sidelines of the Islamic Conference of Labour Ministers in Baku, outlines a collaborative strategy between the two countries' labor ministries.

The MoU emphasizes the exchange of experiences, research, and mutual visits, particularly in areas such as labor relations, inspection, and occupational safety and health. (Zawya)

Egypt / Malaysia
Egypt, Malaysia to boost cooperation in petroleum field
Egypt's Cooperation Petroleum Company (Copetrole), a subsidiary of the Egyptian General Petroleum Corporation (EGPC), has entered into a cooperation protocol with Malaysia's Petronas to strengthen collaboration in the petroleum sector.

The agreement outlines joint efforts in exchanging experiences, with a particular emphasis on research and development. Additionally, both entities will provide consultations on new investments, fostering a mutually beneficial partnership in the field of petroleum. (Zawya)

Qatar / Lebanon
Qatar and Lebanon review trade ties
Qatar's Minister of Commerce and Industry, Sheikh Mohammed bin Hamad bin Qassim Al Thani, held discussions with the Caretaker Minister of Economy and Trade of Lebanon, Amin Salam.

The meeting focused on mutual interests, with an emphasis on enhancing cooperation in trade, investment, and industry between the two nations.  (The Peninsula Qatar)

Tajikistan and Islamic Development Bank leaders to advance economic ties
The President of the Islamic Development Bank, Dr. Muhammad Al Jasser, engaged in discussions with the President of Tajikistan, Emomali Rahmon, to strengthen existing ties and promote economic collaboration.

The meeting, preceding the OIC extraordinary Islamic summit on November 11 in Riyadh, aimed at enhancing the partnership. President Rahmon expressed satisfaction with the Islamic Development Bank's contributions to socio-economic development projects in Tajikistan and its ongoing support in addressing global challenges.  (IsDB)

The Gambia
IsDB and The Gambia fortify development ties
President of the Islamic Development Bank (IsDB), Dr. Muhammad Al Jasser, engaged in discussions with Gambian President Adama Barrow in Riyadh, focusing on strengthening cooperation between IsDB and The Gambia.

The meeting built on their previous encounter earlier this year, where they assessed progress on key infrastructural and educational projects funded by IsDB.  (IsDB)


ESG Developments

ACWA Power teams up with UAE’s Masdar to develop clean energy projects in Azerbaijan
ACWA Power of Saudi Arabia is set to collaborate with Masdar (Abu Dhabi Future Energy Co.) to develop 500 megawatts of renewable energy projects in Azerbaijan, as per a memorandum of understanding signed with the State Oil Co. of Azerbaijan.

The joint venture aligns with Azerbaijan's ambitions for net-zero emissions and contributes to global decarbonization efforts. (Arab News)



UAE / Jordan
UAE and Jordan sign $2bn investment MoU to boost bilateral cooperation
The UAE's Ministry of Investment has inked a $2 billion memorandum of understanding (MoU) with Jordan, establishing a framework for investment cooperation.

The agreement encompasses investment in infrastructure and development projects, with a focus on strengthening the enduring strategic partnership between the two nations. (Arab News)

OIC Economies
OIC news wrap: Saudi hosts historic GCC-ASEAN summit. What were the key takeaways?

Here's a roundup of key developments across the OIC ecosystem during the first three weeks of October

Editor's note: Energy, energy, energy. Its all about fueling our works, businesses and lives. And this has dominated much of the OIC airspace in recent weeks.

The UAE is looking to strength its energy cooperation with Kyrgyzstan, while it launched three contracts with Iraq to develop oil and gas fields. 

Of course, there was this much-talked-about GCC-Asean summit held in Riyadh, offering a platform for leaders to explore collaboration in various fields, including energy security. 

Trade Developments

Saudi Arabia

Saudi Arabia hosts historic GCC-ASEAN summit to strengthen ties

Leaders of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) convened in Saudi Arabia on October 20, 2023, at the invitation of King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud.


The leaders declared to join efforts to promote security and stability, explore cooperation on specific areas of common interest, promote trade and investment between the GCC and ASEAN, and encourage technical assistance and capacity building for entrepreneurs, among other things. (GCC-SG)


Iraq / UAE

Iraq, UAE's Crescent launch deals to develop three oil and gas fields

Iraq has initiated three energy contracts with UAE-based Crescent Petroleum to develop oil and gas fields in the country, as announced by the oil ministry.


Crescent Petroleum had previously signed three 20-year contracts in February to develop these fields in Iraq's Basra and Diyala provinces. (Zawya)



IsDB president's Morocco visit to bolster global partnerships and sustainable initiatives

The President of the Islamic Development Bank, Dr. Muhammad Al Jasser, is leading a delegation to Morocco from October 9 until 20.


This visit underscores the IsDB's dedication to foster collaborative relationships and promote sustainable development initiatives within its member countries.


Dr. Al Jasser will commence his visit by participating in the World Bank/International Monetary Fund (WB/IMF) annual meetings in Marrakech. (IsDB)



Agreement signed to enhance trade between Organization of Islamic Cooperation and Africa

An agreement has been reached to enhance economic activities between member states of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) and the Eastern and Southern African Trade and Development Bank (TDB).


The TDB and the International Islamic Trade Finance Corp., a member of the Islamic Development Bank Group, signed a memorandum of understanding. (Arab News)


Saudi Arabia / Egypt

Egyptian chemical export council sign agreement with Saudi Tabseer platform to boost trade

The Chemical and Fertilizers Export Council (CEC) has entered into a joint cooperation agreement with the Saudi Tabseer platform, aimed at facilitating the entry of Egyptian companies into the Saudi market and simplifying their interactions with Saudi counterparts.


The agreement is a significant step in enabling Egyptian companies to export their products more efficiently, using the Tabseer platform to conduct tests and obtain accreditation certificates. (Zawya)



IsDB-ICIEC’s Istanbul event explores impact of information sharing for OIC members

In Istanbul, Türkiye, a groundbreaking event took place from September 26 to September 28, at the Hilton Istanbul Maslak.


This event brought together over 80 distinguished attendees to examine the vital role of information sharing and business intelligence in supporting trade and investment decisions within the member states of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC). (ICIEC)



ESG Developments


Afghanistan / Kuwait
Afghanistan Humanitarian Trust Fund receives $2 million boost from Kuwait Society 

 Mohammad J. Alsaati, special adviser to The President and Coordinator of Afghanistan Humanitarian Trust Fund (AHTF), signed an agreement with Dr. Ebrahim A. Alsaleh, Chairman of the Board of Kuwait Society For Relief (KSR).


This agreement marks a Donor Contribution Agreement, through which KSR will provide $2 million in funding to the AHTF. (IsDB)


UAE / Kyrgyzstan
UAE, Kyrgyzstan strengthening energy cooperation

Suhail bin Mohammed Al Mazrouei, the Minister of Energy and Infrastructure for the UAE, led a high-level delegation on a visit to the Kyrgyz Republic.


The purpose of this visit was to explore opportunities for cooperation between the two countries across various sectors.


President Sadyr Japarov of the Kyrgyz Republic welcomed Al Mazrouei and his delegation, along with the UAE's Ambassador to Kazakhstan, Dr. Mohammed Al Arqi. (Zawya)

OIC Economies
OIC ecosystem in review

Here's a roundup of key developments across the OIC ecosystem during the first two weeks of September

Editor's note: Its a month of cross-border collaborations. Especially for Saudi Arabia. The Arab world's largest economy is calling for clean energy cooperation on a global level, looking to beef up coordination with Qatar at land border ports, and is also calling for greater integration among Gulf strategies across the transport and logistics sector. 

Meanwhile, Oman and Tunisia are also exploring ways to boost economic and investment cooperation.




IsDB to fund Mauritanian institutes with $49.69m

The Board of Directors of the Islamic Development Bank (IsDB) have sanctioned $49.69 million in funding for the establishment of higher education institutions in Mauritania.


This initiative aligns with IsDB's commitment to expand access to quality higher education, acknowledging that education plays a pivotal role in providing opportunities for young people in Mauritania and beyond. (Zawya)


Saudi Arabia
IsDB injects $800m to support critical projects across member countries

The Islamic Development Bank (IsDB) has given the green light for $800 million in financing during its 352nd meeting in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia.


These funds are aimed at supporting critical projects in sectors such as energy, education, health, and transportation, with the end-goal of addressing socio-economic challenges in IsDB member countries, especially vulnerable communities.


Additionally, the IsDB has initiated an emergency intervention to aid approximately 125,000 individuals impacted by the conflict in Sudan, delivering a multi-sectoral response to provide life-saving assistance. (IsDB)


Al Baraka Bank secures $30m in financing

Al Baraka Bank Egypt (SAUD) has announced the acquisition of $30 million in financing from the Islamic Corporation for the Development of the Private Sector (ICD), affiliated with the Islamic Development Bank (IsDB).


Al Baraka Bank Egypt, part of the Al Baraka Banking Group, offers Islamic Sharia-compliant banking services, including retail, corporate, and investment banking, through a network of 32 branches in Egypt. (Zawya)




Qatar / Saudi Arabia

Qatar, Saudi Arabia discuss beefing coordination at land border ports

Qatar and Saudi Arabia conducted their second coordination meeting between their interior ministries to discuss the single port project and data exchange between the Abu Samra Qatari Port and Saudi Salwa Port. (Zawya)


Saudi Arabia

Saudi Arabia calls for integrated Gulf strategies in logistics sector

The Federation of Saudi Chambers has urged for greater integration of Gulf strategies across transport and logistics services.


It has emphasized the importance of private sector involvement in developing logistics policies, fostering international partnerships, enhancing infrastructure and procedures, stimulating the logistics sector, and advancing the privatization of operational activities. (Zawya)


Oman / Tunisia

Oman, Tunisia explore ways to enhance economic, investment cooperation

Government officials in Oman and Tunisia held a meeting to discuss ways of enhancing bilateral cooperation. 


The discussions were held between Said Mohammed al Saqri, Oman's minister of economy and Samir Saied, Tunisian minister of economy and planning and his delegation.


Deliberations were centred on strengthening cooperation in economic and investment domains between the two nations. Both sides expressed their commitment to exploring new avenues for collaboration, particularly in economic, commercial, investment, and other relevant sectors. (Zawya)




Saudi Arabia

Saudi foreign minister emphasizes global clean energy cooperation

Saudi Arabia's foreign minister, Prince Faisal Bin Farhan, representing King Salman, addressed the G77 + China summit, reiterating the kingdom's dedication to a collective, integrated approach for development, prosperity, and stability.


He emphasized the significance of investing in clean energy technology as a means to transition towards clean energy solutions. (Zawya)




Saudi Arabia

New water transmission project launched for Makkah, Madinah

Alkhorayef Water and Power Technologies Co. is set to construct and operate pipelines to supply water to Madinah and Makkah as part of the Rayis-Rabigh independent water transmission pipeline project.


The initiative, under a build-operate-transfer agreement with Saudi Water Partnership Co., will have a capacity of 500,000 cubic meters per day and a length of 150 km. (Arab News)

OIC Economies
Aug OIC news wrap: BRICS welcomes Egypt, UAE, Saudi; Bahrain signs deal for largest solar project; & others

Here's a roundup of key developments across OIC countries during the month of August

Editor's note: As a key signal of shifting regional sands, BRICS announced the admission of six new members, four of which are OIC countries, a development that rightfully dictated global news in the wake of the bloc's summit held in August. Saudi Arabia, meanwhile, is also mulling trade ties with Jordan and Qatar. 

With strong markers highlighting the looming climate crisis and its implications, countries across the world are either commissioning out or operating renewable energy projects to beckon a greener future. Bahrain too, inked deals for a 72 megawatt solar power plant. Though rather shy of the MENA region's largest solar energy project (a feat eyed by GCC member Saudi) it still remains the country's largest of its kind yet. 

In news coming from the subcontinent, Pakistan is looking to partner with West Asian countries - Iran and Iraq - on collaboration and economic development.


Trade Developments

Tajikistan signs agreements to improve water resources management 
The Republic of Tajikistan's Ministry of Finance, along with Tawhidbank, Imon, and Asr Leasing, have inked the "Wakalah Agreements" backed by the Islamic Development Bank (IsDB) to enhance Water Resources Management in Khatlon Region.

The initiative, witnessed by the IsDB's local representative, will promote a rural credit scheme for agriculture, using various Islamic financing methods. The goal is to offer shariah-compliant finance, aiding farmers in the agriculture value chain and bolstering Islamic finance principles. (IsDB)

Pakistan / Iran
Pakistan, Iran chalk out five-year plan with $5bn trade target
Pakistan and Iran have set out a five-year collaboration plan, targeting $5 billion in trade.

This initiative was announced during a meeting in Islamabad between Pakistan's foreign minister, Bilawal Bhutto Zardari, and Iran's Hossein Amir-Abdollahian. The plan focuses on removing trade barriers, instituting a free trade agreement, and building ties between private sectors of both countries. (Anadolu Ajansı)

Egypt / Turkiye
Egypt eyes joint industrial ties with Turkiye
Egypt and Turkiye anticipate an uplift in industrial collaboration after high-level ministerial discussions.

Ahmed Samir, Egypt's trade and industry minister, held talks with Mehmet Fatih Kacir, Turkiye's minister of industry and technology, in Ankara, marking the first visit of its kind in a decade.

Their discussions spanned the potential of a Turkish industrial zone in Egypt, increased cooperation in sectors like furniture, carpets, and chemicals, and a joint strategy until June 2024. (Arab News)

Egypt / Jordan
Egypt, Jordan sign MoUs to boost cooperation in several fields
Egypt and Jordan ratified 12 memoranda of understandings to strengthen bilateral ties.

The preliminary agreements cover key focus areas. These include economic development, securities regulation, environment, social affairs, media collaboration between Petra and the MENA region, as well as cultural exchange for 2023-2026.

Agreements also extended to manpower, social insurance coordination, and health sector collaboration. (Zawya)

Pakistan / Iraq
Pakistan, Iraq sign agreement to improve tax mechanism, economic cooperation
Pakistan and Iraq have inked a convention to counter double taxation on income and curb tax evasion, a move aimed at enhancing economic ties, as confirmed by Pakistan's Federal Board of Revenue.

Negotiations held in August saw both sides resolving various matters before agreeing on the convention draft. This pact promises to bolster investments, ensure clarity on taxation for cross-border transactions, and offer tax relief to residents of both nations, thus promoting trade. (Arab News)

Tunisia / Libya
Tunisian-Libyan continental trade corridor towards sub-Saharan Africa created
Tunisia and Libya have declared the establishment of a continental trade corridor, to connect the two countries with sub-Saharan Africa, as unveiled at a joint ministerial meeting.

Deliberations spotlighted on the need to modernize the Ras Jedir border crossing to meet international standards. (Zawya)

Morocco / Saudi Arabia
Morocco's king stresses on strong bilateral relations with Saudi Arabia 
King Mohammed VI of Morocco has penned a letter to Saudi Arabia's Crown Prince, Mohammed bin Salman, emphasizing the robust bilateral relations and the aim to enhance them further.

This move, reported by both Saudi and Moroccan news agencies, aligns with efforts to fortify ties between the allied nations.

The correspondence was delivered during a meeting in Riyadh, where officials discussed strengthening relations and tackled global matters of mutual concern. 

Syria / Egypt / Brazil
Arab Brazilian Chamber discusses Syria-Egypt-Brazil trade
The Arab Brazilian Chamber of Commerce's Cairo office deliberated on collaboration with the Federation of Syrian Chambers of Commerce to streamline trade between Egypt, Syria, and Brazil.

The discussions involved key figures including Tamer Mansour, CEO of the Arab Brazilian Chamber of Commerce(ABCC), and Mohamed Firas Jijakli of the Syrian Federation.

Mansour highlighted the significant involvement of Syrian entrepreneurs in Brazil and expressed optimism about Syria's economic resurgence in the near future. (ANBA)

Saudi Arabia / Jordan
Saudi-Jordanian joint committee meets in Riyadh to promote trade ties
The 18th session of the Saudi-Jordanian Joint Committee convened in Riyadh, focusing on enhancing the economic ties laid down in the 1962 bilateral agreement.

Saif bin Saad Al-Faqar from Saudi Arabia's Ministry of Transport emphasised the shared intent to broaden cooperation, while Jordan's Dana Al-Zoubi highlighted last year's efforts in Amman, signalling continued growth in trade and economic interactions(Arab News)

BRICS expands to include Egypt, UAE and Saudi Arabia
Egypt, UAE and Saudi Arabia have officially joined the BRICS alliance, making it a group that now includes Brazil, Russia, India, China, South Africa, and Egypt, UAE and Saudi Arabia.

The countries business communities heralds the move, seeing potential for increased trade and investment opportunities(Zawya)

Read: BRICS expansion: What's in store for the global halal industry?

Saudi Arabia / Qatar
Qatar-Saudi co-ordination council meets in Doha
In a meeting in Doha, representatives from Qatar and Saudi Arabia discussed ways to boost bilateral trade and economic relations, particularly focusing on import and export initiatives.

The meeting, part of the Qatari-Saudi Co-ordination Council, witnessed discussions about fortifying the fraternal ties between the two nations. (Zawya)


Côte d’Ivoire
IsDB-financed bridge inaugurated by Côte d'Ivoire's President
President Alassane Ouattara unveiled the Cocody Bridge on August 12, a 530 million euros engineering feat backed financed by the Islamic Development Bank.

Spanning 630 meters across Cocody Bay and towering over 100 meters, the cable-stayed bridge in West Africa is set to ease traffic in Abidjan, connecting its commercial heart with residential areas. (IsDB)

GCC seeks strengthening international trade via free-trade agreements
The Gulf Cooperation Council, under Secretary-General Jassem Mohamed Albudaiwi, is keen to bolster its foreign trade and investments via free-trade agreements.

Talks with New Zealand's Trade Minister, Damien O'Connor, hint at a nearing trade deal between the GCC and New Zealand.

Amid global economic shifts, such accords are pivotal for GCC's growth and global relations. (Zawya)

ESG Developments

Bahrain pens deal for largest solar power project
Bahrain plans to build its largest solar power project, a 72 megawatt initiative in the Sakhir region.

The plant will feature rooftop, ground-based solar units, car park systems, and electric vehicle charging stations. It supports the kingdom's ambition for carbon neutrality by 2060 and accounts for 28% of its renewable energy target of 250 megawatt by 2025.

Yasser bin Ibrahim Humaidain, the minister of electricity and water affairs, said the project aligns with Bahrain's National Renewable Energy Action Plan.  (Zawya)

Operational Developments

Egypt / Libya
Egyptian authorities strategize to create logistic zone adjacent to Libyan border
Aiming to spur economic growth, Egypt plans a new logistics zone near the Salloum land port, adjacent to Libya.

Unveiled by President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, this move seeks to strengthen trade with Libya and enhance the Western Region's economic landscape. (BNN Network)


Read more: News wrap for August: Spain unveils tourism travel guide; Saudi rolls out visa waiver for British nationals; & others

OIC Economies
UAE's Masdar to develop renewable energy projects in Malaysia

UAE clean energy powerhouse Masdar has inked an agreement with Malaysia's Citaglobal Berhad to develop a broad range of renewable energy projects in the Southeast Asian country, including rural, off-grid initiatives.   

By virtue of the MoU, Masdar and Citaglobal will join forces to develop projects across the renewable energy mix in the Malaysian state of Pahang. This includes exploring solar, battery energy storage system (BESS), wind and other renewable energy technologies.

Malaysia is targeting net-zero emissions by 2050.

Mohamed Jameel Al Ramahi, Masdar’s chief executive officer, said, “Masdar is excited to be partnering with Citaglobal Berhad and to be expanding our presence in the key Southeast Asian market." 

"As the UAE looks ahead to hosting the UN climate change conference, COP28, later this year, Masdar is proud to be working with partners to advance clean energy solutions around the world,” he added. 

Masdar is active in more than 40 countries, with a total electricity generation capacity of more than 20GW. It has invested, or committed to invest, in worldwide projects, with a combined value of more than $30 billion.

“By collaborating with a leading energy transition player, we will make faster progress towards our climate targets, besides building our long term energy requirements in a responsible and cost efficient manner," noted Citaglobal Berhad executive chairman and president, Tan Sri (Dr) Mohamad Norza Zakaria.

"The MoU will also facilitate the potential collaboration between Masdar and Citaglobal related to technology solutions and equipment supply outside of Malaysia with a focus on Central Asia.”

Southeast Asia is a key investment destination for Masdar. The company has developed the region’s largest floating solar facility in Indonesia, which will generate enough electricity to power 50,000 homes. In February 2023, Masdar entered the geothermal energy sector through a strategic investment in Indonesia’s Pertamina Geothermal Energy.

OIC Economies
July OIC news wrap: Turkey, GCC countries ink deals; Saudi intensifies net-zero quest; and more

Here's a roundup of key developments across OIC countries in the month of July.

Editor's note: The Turkish President's recent trip to the GCC to shore up investment was a fruitful one. His visit marked the signing of 16 cooperation agreements between his country and Saudi Arabia, and another $50 billion in deals with the UAE. This also builds on the comprehensive economic partnership agreement ratified by the UAE and Turkey earlier this year, to push bilateral non-oil trade to beyond $40bn in the next five years. 

Meanwhile, Saudi Arabia is accelerating in its quest for net-zero emissions, exploring clean energy alternatives, partnering with cross-border entities on green projects, as well as shoring up financial support for the world's largest solar project. 

ESG Developments – Saudi Arabia / Japan
Saudi Arabia, Japan launches initiative for clean energy cooperation
Saudi Arabia's King Abdullah Petroleum Studies and Research Center (KAPSARC) and the Institute of Energy Economics, Japan (IEEJ) have entered into an agreement to collaborate on strategies for achieving their respective net-zero emission targets.

The agreement is part of the Saudi-Japan Lighthouse Initiative for Clean Energy Cooperation, which aims to provide a blueprint for other countries seeking to reduce their carbon emissions(Arab News)

ESG Developments – Saudi Arabia 
Saudi's ACWA Power consortium commits $2.2bn for Al-Shuaibah solar projects
Saudi Arabia is accelerating its efforts towards creating the world's largest solar project.

Saudi's ACWA Power, along with its consortium, has finalised the $2.2 billion financing for the Al-Shuaibah 1 and Al-Shuaibah 2 solar projects.

The funding mix includes senior debt and equity, with contributions from the National Development Fund and various local and international banks. (Arab News)

ESG Developments – Saudi Arabia 
Engie, PIF to develop hydrogen projects in Saudi Arabia
Engie, a global leader in low-carbon energy and services, has signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with Saudi Arabia's Public Investment Fund (PIF) for the joint development of green hydrogen projects.

The partnership, in line with Saudi Vision 2030, will focus on creating green hydrogen production projects for export. (Hydrogen Central)

ESG Developments – UAE / Pakistan 
UAE, Pakistan business relations strengthen, new deal to explore renewable energy projects
The UAE and Pakistan have signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) to develop renewable energy projects in the subcontinental country.

The agreement was signed during the visit of Dr Sultan Ahmed Al Jaber, the UAE's Special Envoy for Climate Change, to Pakistan.

Sharif al Olama, the UAE's Undersecretary of the Ministry of Energy & Infrastructure, and Rashid Mahmood Langrial, Secretary Power Division of Pakistan, formalised the agreement. (Zawya)

ESG Developments – Saudi Arabia 
Saudi's PIF inks agreement with Japanese power generator JERA to develop green hydrogen
Saudi Arabia's Public Investment Fund has signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with JERA Co., Inc., Japan's largest power generator, to explore the potential for developing green hydrogen projects.

The agreement will initiate feasibility studies for creating green hydrogen and derivative projects aimed at both domestic and international markets. (Zawya)

Trade Developments – UAE / Mozambique 
UAE, Mozambique sign deal in workforce field
The UAE and Mozambique have inked a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) aimed at enhancing management of the contractual work cycle for Mozambican workers in the UAE.

Signed by Dr. Abdulrahman Al Awar, Minister of Human Resources and Emiratisation (MoHRE) in the UAE, and Margarida Adamugy Talapa, Mozambique's Minister of Labour, Employer and Social Security, the deal seeks to create increased job opportunities for Mozambican workers in the UAE while ensuring their rights in the working environment. (Zawya)

Trade Developments – Saudi Arabia / Turkey 
Saudi Arabia and Turkey sign 16 cooperation agreements
Saudi Arabia and Turkey have signed 16 cooperation agreements across various fields and investment sectors, valued at over SR2.3bn.

The agreements, signed at the Saudi-Turkish Business Forum in Istanbul, cover areas such as real estate development, construction, and engineering consultancy. The forum aimed to enhance partnerships and explore investment opportunities in urban development, building, contracting, and smart cities(Saudi Gazette)

Trade Developments – Oman / Morocco
Oman, Morocco sign agreements to enhance cooperation in rail transport
Oman and Morocco have inked four new bilateral agreements spanning maritime transport, diplomatic training, consumer protection, and rail cooperation.

The agreements, signed at the Omani-Moroccan Joint Committee's sixth session, signal greater cooperation in economics, culture, science, and technology fields, offering ample opportunities for the private sectors of both nations. (The Arabian Stories)

Trade Developments – UAE / Turkey
Turkiye, UAE sign $50bn in deals to boost strategic ties
Turkiye and the UAE have signed agreements amounting to $50 billion to strengthen investments across strategic sectors.

The deals, part of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan's UAE visit, include the establishment of a high-level strategic council to bolster ties. These accords are intended to diversify the UAE-Turkiye Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement framework, aiming to maximize bilateral trade and investment, and potentially create numerous jobs. (Arab News)

Trade Developments – Saudi Arabia / Oman
Saudi Arabia enhances cooperation with Oman as PIF signs MoU with OIA 
Saudi Arabia's Public Investment Fund (PIF) has entered a memorandum of understanding with the Oman Investment Authority to strengthen economic ties.

This partnership will facilitate PIF and its associated entities in capitalizing on investment prospects in Oman. In 2022, trade between the two nations rose by 123% year-over-year, totaling $7.01 billion. (Arab News)

Investment – Bangladesh
ITFC signs $1.4bln energy security financing plan with Bangladesh
The International Islamic Trade Finance Corporation (ITFC), a member of the Islamic Development Bank Group, has pledged $1.4 billion to assist Bangladesh with oil imports for a year, starting July 2023.

The agreement underscores ITFC's commitment to aiding its member states' economic development and ensuring energy security for fast-growing economies like Bangladesh. (Zawya)

Investment – Bangladesh
Bangladesh Seeks $900M in Loans from ITFC for Energy Imports
Bangladesh Petroleum Corp. (BPC) is set to secure an added $400 million in loans from the International Islamic Trade Finance Corp (ITFC) for petroleum imports, as revealed by a government document.

This is atop a $1.4 billion loan BPC agreed with ITFC in May for the same purpose, extending until June 2024. Concurrently, Petrobangla is aiming to borrow $500 million from ITFC for liquefied natural gas imports. (BNN Bloomberg)

OIC Economies
OIC: Monthly news wrap - June 2023

Here is a roundup of key developments across the OIC during the month of June

Editor's note: To say that our planet is in peril is stating the obvious. Not only is it warming up at worrying speeds, but also losing its natural areas. Though a lot needs to be done on multiple levels to stem the damage, several countries are stepping up their game to counter the impending climate crisis.

Saudi Arabia collaborated with Kazakhstan to build on its existing energy partnership, while UAE's Masdar signed up for a 1GW wind power project in the Central Asian country. GCC state Oman inked $10bn in green hydrogen deals to underpin its net-zero ambitions, while Egypt upped its energy transition game with revised climate commitments.  

Trade Developments – Saudi Arabia / Bahrain
Bahrain, Saudi Arabia deal to position as single tourism destination 
Bahrain and Saudi Arabia have signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) aimed at positioning the two countries as a unified regional and global tourism destination

The agreement, inked by Bahrain's tourism minister, Fatima bint Jaafar Al Sairafi, and Saudi Arabia's counterpart Ahmed Al Khateeb, establishes a framework for collaboration in various areas of mutual interest. (Zawya) (June 7, 2023)

Trade Developments – Saudi Arabia / Kazakhstan
Saudi Arabia collaborates with Kazakhstan to build on energy partnership 
Saudi Arabia and Kazakhstan have signed a deal to establish a framework for cooperation in the energy sector, expanding their existing energy partnerships.

The agreement covers collaboration in petroleum, gas, refining, petrochemicals, and electricity. Both countries will also work together on renewable energy, clean hydrogen, energy efficiency, storage, and development. (Arab News) (June 13, 2023)

Trade Developments – Senegal
ICIEC launches book highlighting development partnership with Senegal 
The Islamic Corporation for the Insurance of Investment and Export Credit (ICIEC), a member of the Islamic Development Bank Group, launched a book titled "Senegal and ICIEC - Empowering Real Economy, Driving Development Impact."

The book, to be launched in July, offers insight into the successful collaboration between ICIEC and Senegal. (ICIEC) (July 3, 2023)

ESG Developments – Saudi Arabia
Saudi Electricity Co. invests $373m in three projects to boost power grid 
Saudi Electricity Co. is investing SR1.4 billion ($373 million) in improving electricity networks in three Saudi governates - Rafha, Al-Wajh, and Najran - to reduce liquid fuel consumption and carbon emissions.

The project aims to enhance reliability and efficiency while benefiting subscribers. (Arab News) (June 8, 2023) 

ESG Developments – UAE / Kazakhstan
UAE's Masdar signs roadmap for up to 1GW wind power project in Kazakhstan 
Masdar, Abu Dhabi's renewable energy company, has signed a roadmap to develop a wind power plant with a capacity of up to 1 GW in Kazakhstan.

The project aims to support the Central Asian country's goal of achieving 50% renewable energy in its energy mix by 2050. The agreement was signed by Masdar, the Ministry of Energy of Kazakhstan, the Kazakhstan Investment Development Fund, and Samruk-Kazyna. (Zawya) (June 12, 2023)

ESG Developments – Saudi Arabia
AlUla inks deal with Schneider Electric to adopt clean energy solutions 
Saudi Arabia's heritage city, AlUla, is working towards becoming a sustainable tourism destination by partnering with global power management specialist Schneider Electric.

The Royal Commission of AlUla has signed a memorandum of understanding with Schneider Electric to implement sustainable energy management solutions, including smart microgrids and intelligent buildings(Arab News) (June 14, 2023)

ESG Developments – Oman
Oman signs $10bn in green hydrogen deals to boost net-zero ambitions 
Oman's Hydrom has signed agreements worth $10 billion with a consortium of South Korea's Posco and French firm Engie, as well as the Hyport Duqm initiative, to develop two new green hydrogen production projects.

The projects will be located in the Al-Wusta governorate and are part of Oman's plan to produce over 1 million tons per annum of green hydrogen by 2030, increasing to 8 million by 2050. (Arab News) (June 22, 2023)

ESG Developments – Egypt
Egypt accelerates energy transition with revised climate commitments 
Egypt has submitted updated climate commitments under the Paris Agreement, aiming to generate 42% of its energy from renewable sources by 2030 instead of 2035.

The updated Nationally Determined Contribution (NDC) document highlights the country's need for grants and soft financing worth €500 million to achieve the revised targets. (Arab News) (June 27, 2023)

ESG Developments – Saudi Arabia
TotalEnergies completes financing of its first solar power plant in Saudi Arabia 
French energy giant TotalEnergies has achieved financial closure for its first solar power plant in Saudi Arabia, signaling the growth of sustainable energy provision in the country.

The 119-megawatt solar plant will be developed by a consortium consisting of TotalEnergies, Toyota Tsusho of Japan, and Saudi Arabia's Altaaqa Renewable Energy. (Arab News) (June 29, 2023)

Investment – Saudi Arabia
RVCMC successfully sells over 2.2 million tonnes of carbon credits 
The Regional Voluntary Carbon Market Company (RVCMC) announced the successful auction of over 2.2 million tonnes of carbon credits, making it the largest-ever voluntary carbon credit auction

Sixteen Saudi and international companies participated in the auction, with Aramco, Saudi Electricity Company (SEC), and ENOWA purchasing the largest number of carbon credits. (ITFC) (June 19, 2023)

Investment – Benin
IsDB Group, France's AFD partner to co-finance $1bn for green investments
IsDB, a multilateral development bank, and AFD, France's bilateral aid provider, have signed an MoU to strengthen their collaboration in project development and co-financing in developing countries, with a focus on Africa.

The partnership aims to co-finance projects aligned with the SDGs and the Paris climate agreement, with a target of $1 billion ($500 million each) over a specific period. (IsDB) (June 20, 2023)

OIC Economies
Newswrap (May 2023) - OIC

Indonesia Enhances its Support to IsDB’s Mandate by Increasing its Shareholding; Morocco and Saudi Arabia work towards a strong investment and trade partnership; ITFC Signs Four Agreements with total amount US$ 1.1 billion with Mali, The Gambia, Djibouti; Icd and Ithmar Capital Join Forces to Boost Energy Transition and Food Security in Morocco and Africa; SAUDI ARAMCO: First time an OIC based company is in Top 50 most innovative companies in the world; Makkah and Madinah are aiming to become financial and business epicentres for the Islamic world.


Trade Developments – Morocco / Saudi Arabia
Morocco and Saudi Arabia work towards a strong investment and trade partnership. (May 10, 2023)
Morocco and Saudi Arabia are working towards strengthening their economic ties through the establishment of a joint fund for investment and trade development. This initiative presents an opportunity for Morocco to boost its economic growth and for Saudi Arabia to solidify its position as the largest economy in the Middle East. (Atalayar)

Trade Developments – Saudi Arabia
ITFC Signs Four Agreements with total amount US$ 1.1 billion with Mali, The Gambia, Djibouti. (May 10, 2023)
The International Islamic Trade Finance Corporation (ITFC) has signed significant agreements with Mali, The Gambia, and Djibouti, totaling over US$1.1 billion. These agreements aim to support key sectors such as agriculture, energy, and health, as well as the private sector, fostering economic growth and ensuring a stable supply of essential products. (ITFC)

Trade Developments – Saudi Arabia / Indonesia
Indonesia Enhances its Support to IsDB’s Mandate by Increasing its Shareholding. (May 13, 2023)
The Islamic Development Bank (IsDB) has approved Indonesia's request to increase its subscription in the Bank's Capital Stock. As a result, Indonesia will gain a permanent seat on the Bank's Board of Executive Directors. This Special Capital Increase strengthens the partnership between IsDB and Indonesia, supporting sustainable socio-economic development and key areas such as climate action and food security. (IsDB)

Trade Developments – Saudi Arabia
ITFC signs $1.2bn agreements with Burkina Faso, Cote d'Ivoire, Nigeria, and partner banks. (May 13, 2023)
The International Islamic Trade Finance Corporation (ITFC) has solidified its commitment to collaboration and cooperation by signing seven major agreements with Azerbaijan, Burkina Faso, Cote d'Ivoire, Nigeria, and Uzbekistan. These agreements, signed during the Islamic Development Bank Group (IsDB) Annual Meetings, aim to foster growth and development, particularly for small and medium enterprises (SMEs). (ITFC)

Trade Developments – Saudi Arabia
Icd and Ithmar Capital Join Forces to Boost Energy Transition and Food Security in Morocco and Africa. (May 14, 2023)
The Islamic Corporation for the Development of the Private Sector (ICD) has signed an agreement with ITHMAR CAPITAL during the 2023 IsDB Annual Meetings in Jeddah. The collaboration aims to explore investment opportunities in energy transition, food security, and infrastructure in Morocco and other African countries(ICD)

Trade Developments – Tunisia / Algeria
Tunisian Hotel Federation and Algerian National Federation of Hotels and Tourism sign partnership agreement. (May 15, 2023)
The President of the Tunisian Hotel Federation (FTH), Dora Miled, signed a cooperation and partnership agreement with the President of the Algerian National Federation of Hotels and Tourism, Abdelouhab Boulefkhad. The agreement aims to enhance tourism, particularly in the hotel sector, in both Tunisia and Algeria through coordinated efforts and joint actions. (Zawya)

Trade Developments – Saudi Arabia
Makkah and Madinah are aiming to become financial and business epicentres for the Islamic world. (May 19, 2023)
Makkah and Madinah strive to establish themselves as financial and business hubs for the Islamic world. Through the Manafea agreement, signed by key chambers of commerce, these cities aim to leverage their global significance. Initiatives include hosting world forums, capitalizing on investment opportunities, and establishing a permanent global showcase for Halal products(Arab News)

Trade Developments – Pakistan / Qatar
Pakistan, Qatar vow to enhance bilateral trade, tourism. (May 19, 2023)
Pakistan and Qatar have pledged to enhance bilateral trade and tourism ties. This commitment was made during a meeting between Qatar's Ambassador Sheikh Saud bin Abdul Rahman Al Thani and Pakistan's Minister for Interior Rana Sanaullah in Islamabad. The discussions encompassed various topics of mutual interest, including bilateral relations and the presence of Pakistani workers in Qatar(Dunya News)

Trade Developments – Morocco / Saudi Arabia
Prince Mohammad bin Fahd University signs deal with Moroccan Al Akhawayn University. (June 1, 2023)
Prince Mohammad bin Fahd University (PMU) and Moroccan Al Akhawayn University have signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) to strengthen cooperation in the scientific, academic, and research domains. The agreement includes collaboration in various academic fields, joint research projects, exchange of academic experiences and students, utilization of available resources, and cooperation in future studies and training. (Zawya)

ESG Developments – UAE
Dubai: Agreement signed to tap $1.3trln global trade of recyclables. (May 5, 2023)
The Global Recycling Foundation and the World Sustainable Business Forum (WSBF) have signed an agreement during the Chief Future Officer Forum in the UAE. This agreement aims to leverage the global trade of recyclables, valued at $1.3 trillion, and contribute to the sustainable future of technology. (Zawya)

Company News – Saudi Arabia
SAUDI ARAMCO: First time an OIC based company is in Top 50 most innovative companies in the world. (May 23, 2023)
Saudi Aramco, the OIC (Organization of Islamic Cooperation) based company, has achieved a significant milestone by being listed among the top 50 most innovative companies globally. This recognition highlights the company's commitment to innovation and its influential position in the global market. (Boston Consulting Group)

Investment – Uzbekistan
TAQA to invest over $3bn in Uzbekistan’s power sector. (May 22, 2023)
UAE-based utilities firm Abu Dhabi National Energy Co. (TAQA) has unveiled plans to invest more than $3 billion in Uzbekistan's power sector. Under a strategic partnership with the Uzbek government, TAQA aims to explore projects and investment opportunities in the country's energy sector. (Arab News)

Investment – Saudi Arabia
Saudi Arabia’s PIF announces $3bn investment unit for Iraq. (May 25, 2023)
Saudi Arabia's sovereign wealth fund has established a $3 billion investment unit to target industries in Iraq, aligning with its strategy to expand investments in the Middle East and North Africa region. Headquartered in Saudi Arabia, the unit of the Saudi-Iraq Investment Co. aims to invest in infrastructure, mining, agriculture, real estate development, and financial services(Arab News)

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