Suriname to host economic-financial meeting of Islamic bloc
PARAMARIBO, Suriname -- From November 16 -15, Suriname will host a meeting of central banks and monetary authorities of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) member countries. This will be one of the first meetings of the OIC that Paramaribo will host to enhance its economic standing and raise its global profile since it joined this group of 57 countries in 1996.
The meeting will bring together economic and financial officials from OIC member states under the theme: "Structural and financial policies to cope with international and domestic economic challenges in the OIC member countries."
OIC secretary general, Iyad Ameen Madani, will make his first visit to Suriname to attend the meeting.
In addition to economic and financial officials, some finance ministers from OIC countries, who also hold the "governor" portfolio, will be in Suriname. Financial officials spanning four continents and from diverse countries such as Albania, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Qatar, Iran, the UAE, Kazakhstan, Azerbaijan, Brunei, Malaysia, Indonesia, Ivory Coast, Gabon, Nigeria, Uganda, Mozambique, among other countries, are expected to attend the Paramaribo meeting.
The first day of the meeting will be dedicated to the experts’ group workshop. On the second day, the meeting of governors will take place.
Several workshops will be held on November 16. One workshop, "A lesson from past exogenous shocks as policies for guidance going forward", will address commodity price decline, which is affecting many OIC members, including Guyana and Suriname.
Another session titled "Structural reforms to foster economic diversification as a means to build resilience and strengthen sustainable growth" will address the "narrow export base that is heavily concentrated on a few economic sectors." Both Guyana and Suriname are heavily dependent on a few economic sectors.
The third workshop: "Subsidy reform as part of the structural reform agenda to address declining government revenue" due to commodity price decline will focus on the need for member states to review subsidies and address their potential negative microeconomic, environmental and social consequences.
Also sponsoring the meeting are the OIC Standing Committee for Economic and Commercial Cooperation (COMCEC), and the Statistical Economic and Social Research and Training Centre for Islamic countries (SESRIC).
The SESRIC convenes this annual meeting for the "purpose of sharing experiences on financial policies and central banking in order to catch up with the world’s agenda and follow up global trends and developments as well as to improve and enhance the level of cooperation and coordination" among the central banks of the OIC member countries.
COMCEC is chaired by the president of Turkey. It is the main multilateral economic and commercial cooperation platform of OIC member states that serves as a forum to address the common development problems and provide solutions to member states.
By Ray Chickrie
Caribbean News Now contributor