Baku , 11/11/2006

At the invitation of the Government of Azerbaijan, the Islamic Development Bank (IDB) sponsored an International Investment Conference for Azerbaijan. A total of 120 business persons and Industrialists from 15 IDB Member Countries attended the Conference along with 400 participants from Azerbaijan and participants from the Russian Federation and India. The conference opening ceremony was attended by members of the Cabinet of Ministers, members of Parliament, senior government officials and other dignitaries from Azerbaijan. The Conference was officially opened with the welcoming speech of H.E. Ilham Aliyev, President of Azerbaijan, which was delivered on his behalf by H.E Heydar Babayev, Minister of Economic Development/IDB Governor for the Republic of Azerbaijan. In the speech, H.E. Ilham Aliyev appreciated the role played by IDB in sponsoring the Conference and hoped that the event will lead to more trade and investment flows from other IDB member countries into Azerbaijan. He highlighted the high GDP growth rates achieved by Azerbaijan over the past few years, arising from economic reforms undertaken by the Government. He explained that with strong economic fundamentals, Azerbaijan has great potential for foreign direct investment from other IDB member countries. The Conference started with a detailed presentation made by Mikayil Jabbarov, Deputy Minister of the Ministry of Economic Development, on behalf of H.E Heydar Babayev on the current economic situation, legal environment and privatization program in Azerbaijan. The Conference noted with great satisfaction and appreciation the major achievements and the political, economic and social stability of the Republic of Azerbaijan which have contributed to the well being of the people of the country. At the end of the 2 days of intensive deliberations, presentations and bilateral meetings, the conference reached the following conclusions: 1. The Conference participants from IDB Member Countries agreed to establish an Investment Holding Company to operate in Azerbaijan with an authorized capital of US$ 100 million and paid up capital of US$ 10 million. The final size of both capitals will be determined by the Government of Azerbaijan and IDB upon completion of the feasibility study that is currently being finalized and financed by the IDB. 2. The Conference participants requested the Government of Azerbaijan to consider the possibility of the National Bank (Central Bank) issuing a license for the establishment of an Islamic Bank in the Republic of Azerbaijan. If the National Bank is agreeable, the Establishment Committee set up by the Conference participants will embark immediately on the steps to realize the project. 3. The IDB has been requested to consider participating in the equity of the proposed Investment Holding Company and the Islamic Bank. 4. The local Banks expressed their interest in obtaining of financing for small and medium size projects. IDB will look into this request as soon as it is submitted by the IDB Governor for Azerbaijan. 5. The IDB Group ( represented by IDB Operations Complex, Asset Management Department, and Trade Finance and Promotion Department) and the Islamic Corporation for the Development of the Private Sector (ICD) interacted actively with all participants with the objective of identifying among others their financing requirements 6. A number of Memoranda of Understanding have been signed between visiting business persons and the Azerbaijan side, initiating cooperation in the implementation of some of the projects presented at the Conference notably in the areas of pharmaceutical, tourism, information technologies and agriculture. 7. The participants would like to express their gratitude and appreciation for the hospitality extended to them by the President of the Republic of Azerbaijan. H.E Ilham Aliyev, and by the Government and the people of Azerbaijan. The participants would like to recognize the most valuable contribution of H.E. the IDB Governor for Azerbaijan. In this context, the participants of the Conference decided to send a telegram to H. E. the President. 8. Special thanks are expressed to all our brothers and sisters who participated and helped in the organization of this conference and those who rendered enormous technical and professional support to the participants. Special words of thanks also go to members of the Press for their valuable contribution in covering the Conference. 9. Last but not the least a special thanks go to the participants who contributed to the success of the Conference.