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


Halal trade fair
Intra-OIC trade
Trade agreements
OIC trade