The Islamic Corporation for the Development of the Private Sector (ICD), a multilateral organization affiliated with the Islamic Development Bank (IDB) Group, is currently engaged in tackling issues related to the financing of small and medium enterprises (SMEs), and projects providing food security and housing among member countries.
Aside from SMEs, the ICD is considering the financing of projects for providing food security among member countries on priority. "We have some member countries having potential for providing food security so that those who do not have such potential could benefit," ICD's Chief Executive Officer Khaled Al-Aboodi said on the sidelines of the corporation's first clients day held at the Jeddah InterContinental Hotel on June 26, 2011. Those with potential include Kazakhstan, Sudan and Indonesia. "We are ready to finance such projects," Al-Aboodi added.
Al-Aboodi said that the ICD was also directing its financing toward housing, and had undertaken major projects like Ewaan Global Residential Company, which is developing integrated modern mega districts in Jeddah and Riyadh that meet the needs of the middle income. "We finance such projects and will also continue to explore the best ways possible to address and solve housing issues in the Kingdom and elsewhere in our member countries in the coming years," he added.
Equity participation is one other aspect of ICD's private sector financing activities, Al-Aboodi said and mentioned one such project near Jeddah. The vaccine manufacturing plant in Bahra, south of Jeddah, has already started trial production runs.
Invitees from the member countries attending the event, which Al-Aboodi described as something that will become an annual feature, included ministers and diplomats aside from CEOs of companies. They included Kyrgyz Republic's Minister of Economic Regulation Uchkunbek Tashbaev, Maldives' Minister of State for Finance Ahmed As-Ad, Tehran-based Iran Foreign Investments Co. CEO and Chairman Mehdi Razavi and Moscow-based Al Shams Capital's CEO Adalet Djabiev.
As-Ad said his island state established an Islamic bank three months ago and the response was good. "It's (response) is better than we expected during the period," he said. Maldives has a 100 percent Muslim population of 350,000. The minister expected the Shariah-compliant Islamic financing to pick up rapidly in his country with the cooperation of the ICD in particular and the IDB in general.
ICD's Chief Operating Officer Ahmed Khizer Khan gave a presentation on the performance of the Corporation and highlighted some of the ongoing projects and those in the pipeline in the Kingdom and member countries. The presentation outlined that projects financed by ICD are selected on the basis of their contribution to economic development considering factors such as creation of employment opportunities and contribution to exports.