Constituent Congress of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation Countries' Network of Young Businesspersons

November 22-23, 2011

Constituent congress of ‘Organization of Islamic Cooperation Countries – Network of Young Businesspersons’ organized by the Heydar Aliyev Foundation, Islamic Conference Youth Forum for Dialogue and Cooperation (ICYF-DC) and the Azerbaijani Government started in Baku, November 22.

Held at the International Mugham Center, the event brings together nearly 150 delegates from unions of young businesspersons from OIC member countries, including young innovators living in non-member states.

Opening the congress, ICYF-DC Secretary General Elshad Isgandarov congratulated participants. Noting the importance of the event, he appreciated the establishment of the Network of Young Businesspersons. Functioning as a platform for joint activity for young businesspersons in OIC countries, the Network will contribute to the exchange of information in the field of business, stimulating the business activities backing the economic development, also exchange of innovative ideas and experiences on the global level.

Welcoming the participants, Vice President of the Heydar Aliyev Foundation, ICYF-DC General Coordinator for Intercultural Dialogue Leyla ALIYEVA said:

Ladies and gentlemen!

Dear guests!

I would like to greet you all in my native country – Azerbaijan and congratulate on this very important event. I am very glad for participation of so many people in the congress.

The global economy is face to face today with new challenges. This is new processes, acceleration of delivery of information. Active involvement of youth in this process is very necessary. And meeting of young businesspersons in Baku is very important.

What business means? Business means very strong will, development without boundaries and restrictions, use of emerging resources, contacts with different societies and communities, contact with cultures of different societies. 

Successful entrepreneurship is important for the countries of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation. We are facing the question: how can we help the Islamic countries to take their place in the modern world, be strong in competition?

The studies show that per capita income in many of Islamic countries is too lower than developed countries. For this reason, mobilization of young businesspersons’ efforts is very important.

What should we do, which actions should we take to further develop entrepreneurship in OIC member countries? I hope this congress will increase and strengthen the capacities of young entrepreneurs in our country and other countries. I hope raising the potential of young entrepreneurs will base on innovations. Besides, I think this network will serve the creation of business, stronger culture, social responsibility on the basis of the joint activity.

I am confident the Network of Young Businesspersons we will establish today will open new opportunities for young entrepreneurs in OIC member countries. In addition, our network must be a platform for sustainable development. It is necessary to take into account the use of natural resources, development of energy issues, and environmental protection. Young entrepreneurs of our countries – OIC member countries must play their role in addressing all these global challenges, solving these issues.

In the end, I would like to mention that young entrepreneurs cooperating with OIC will play a huge role in creation of new workplaces. It means, involving more youth they will contribute to the development of entrepreneurship among youth. Also, this process is an initiative able to prevent any negative social incidents.

Dear friends, I think we will successfully develop our positive initiatives. I believe that the entrepreneurship initiatives in our countries will be significant for us, for the development of our relations and for future generations. I wish success to all you. I hope you will feel at home in our beautiful town. Thank you.

ICYF-DC Secretary General Elshad Isgandarov expressed thanks to Heydar Aliyev Foundation for the support to holding the congress. He mentioned involving the youth in the international networking process, changing the gifted youth into promoters of national culture in a wider geography is a priority to the government of Azerbaijan.

A congratulatory letter of OIC Secretary General Ekmaladdin Ihsanoglu was read out at the event.

UN Resident-Coordinator in Azerbaijan Fikret Akchura, President of the Ibrahim Associates Company Ibrahim Azeem and Qatar’s Ambassador to Azerbaijan Sheikh Mubarak Bin Fahd Jasim Al-Thani highly valued Azerbaijan’s initiatives for cooperation and joint activity with international organizations and Muslim countries on the basis of the democratic principles.

Congratulations from Muslim young businesspersons working in big cities of Europe were delivered via video connection.

Speakers informed of the congress agenda, key topics, participation of youth in panels and economic diversification.

Award ‘10 Young Muslims Able To Change The World’ initiated by Mrs Leyla Aliyeva to encourage young and creative businesspersons in OIC member countries was presented to a group of youth having achieved significant successes in the sphere of business, art, sports and environmental protection.

Symbolic signing ceremony was held in the event in connection with the establishment of ‘Organization of Islamic Cooperation Countries – Network of Young Businesspersons’.

The event went on in sectional sittings.

The congress will be closed November 23.