ANKARA - Turkish President Abdullah Gul on Wednesday urged member countries of the Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC) to facilitate the establishment of a preferential trade deal among OIC members, local media reported.
In a message sent to the 27th meeting of the OIC's Standing Committee for Economic and Commercial Cooperation (COMCEC) in Ankara, Gul called on OIC members to ratify the agreement on rules of origin to complete the legal basis of the preferential trade deal, the Anatolia news agency reported.
The preferential trade system envisages a transition to a three- step tax reduction system among Muslim countries and needs the approval of at least 10 member states to be launched, the report said.
Such a deal would boost trade and secure a more free movement of goods among OIC members, Gul was quoted as saying.
He said cooperation was vital in order to keep up with global competition and that the Muslim world should tap its major potential for economic and social development.
The ongoing social and political turbulence in certain Muslim countries brought some risks in the short term, but in the longer term they promised great opportunities for democracy, peace and prosperity, said the president.
Established in 1981, the COMCEC aims at developing economic and commercial cooperation among the member states. Its 27th meeting is held here on Wednesday and Thursday, when the working methodology of the COMCEC for the next period will be decided. (Xinhua)