Muslim countries on Monday urged their entrepreneurs to set up a body that can identify and promote investment and infrastructure development, especially in poor Islamic communities. The call was made at the end of a three-day World Islamic Economic Forum organized by the world's biggest Muslim bloc, the Organization of the Islamic Conference. A declaration issued by the forum urged businesses in OIC countries and in Muslim communities of non-OIC countries, such as India, Russia and China, to "strengthen networking with one another as well as to seek strategic alliances with non-Islamic businessmen."
It said the private sector should set up a World Islamic Economic Development Corporation "to identify and promote investments and infrastructure development projects in OIC countries and Muslim communities worldwide with special emphasis on less-developed countries and communities."
In a closing speech at the forum, Malaysian Prime Minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi, the current OIC chairman, said the world's Muslim population of 1.5 billion provides a "huge Islamic consumer market for our products and services."
"As such, there is indeed significant advantage and opportunity available for Muslims around the world to work together and seek ways to harness this competitive edge to our benefit," he said, reports the AP. I.L.