Opening Speech of H.E. Dr. Ahmad Mohamed Ali, IDB President on the occassion of IDB Group 31st Annual Meeting,Kuwait

Kuwait : Tuesday, May 30, 2006

Praise be to Allah. May the peace and blessings of Allah be on the last Prophet and Messenger, our Master Muhammad and on his household and companions.

Your Highness Shaykh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah,
Emir of the State of Kuwait;

Your Highness Shaykh Nawaf Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah,
Crown Prince;

Your Highness Shaykh Naser Muhammad Al- Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah, Prime Minister;

Your Excellencies Governors and Alternate Governors;

Distinguished Delegates;

Ladies and Gentlemen;

As-salam alaykum warahmatullah wa barakatuh

The fact that this meeting is being hosted by Kuwait and enjoys your distinguished patronage, with your determination to personally inaugurate it, despite your enormous responsibilities, is an eloquent testimony of Your Highness’s interest in Joint Islamic Action and in promoting the economic development and social advancement of the people of the Islamic Ummah.

On behalf of all participants, and I am sure I speak for them, let me convey to Your Highness our profound and most sincerely for inaugurating the meeting and for the outstanding arrangements that have been made to ensure its success by the Grace of Allah. We also appreciate the cordial reception and warm hospitality extended to us. It is not strange that this has been offered by Your Highness and by the State of Kuwait that has always given generous support to Joint Islamic Action and to this institution which has equally enjoyed Kuwait’s unrelenting generous attention.

I would also like to welcome all members of delegation, representatives of international organizations and sister financial institutions for their presence and participation in this meeting.

Your Highness,

I am pleased to commend your speech for its erudite thoughts, pertinent directives, and clear vision on the opportunities and challenges of the current international situation. The Board of Governors, the Board of Executive Directors and the Bank’s management will study this important speech for insight in formulating the future plans of the Islamic Development Bank Group.

Everyone aspires to the success of your strategic vision for Kuwait so that its role as a regional and international business centre will be resuscitated. Having achieved the highest economic growth rate among Arab countries, the performance of Kuwait’s economy in recent years is an important indication of this trend. The ongoing reconstruction and development workshop taking place in an open economic climate created by the State of Kuwait is also an important sign to attract investment and link Kuwait’s present with its heritage where Kuwaiti traders were the leading businessmen in the region. Their trade was a wide bridge of knowledge and contact with the world.

Your Highness,

Kuwait was a key foundation state of the Bank and has remained in the forefront supporting all new initiatives and programmes that are launched from time to time. This country has also played an effective role in developing the Bank’s operations through the initiatives of the Governors and the Executive Directors who have successively represented Kuwait. They have given series of advise and proposals to boost the Bank’s position and enhance its role in the economic and social development of member countries. The past one year in which assumed chairmanship of the Board of Governors has been replete with important initiatives and concrete achievements thanks to the pertinent recommendations of H.E. Mr Bader Mishari Al Humaidhi, Minister of Finance, Chairman of the Board of Governors. Our gratitude and appreciation go to him.

There can be no surprise that Kuwait is playing a leading role in Joint Islamic Action. It is a country that has continued to provide substantial contributions to support the causes of the Ummah. The Kuwaiti Foundation for Arab Economic Development, the General Secretariat of the Waqfs, the Zakat Foundation and numerous other Kuwaiti charitable institutions in both relief and overall development fields are all evidences of Kuwait’s achievements. The Bank is pleased to have partnered those institutions that have become famous for their leading role in supporting developmental efforts in all nooks and crannies of our planet.

Your Highness,
Your Excellencies Governors,
Distinguished Delegates,

These phenomenal developments taking place in the international system and the rapid changes brought about by globalization have directly impacted on growth rates as well as on economic and social development indicators of developing countries in general, including our member countries, and particularly after the September 11 events and the enormous challenges it entailed for member countries in the area of development.

Member countries have no alternative to closing ranks and forming a single bloc to meet the challenges and inevitable consequences of globalization, relying on their strong links, their economic integration and their huge human and material resources.

This fact has led your institution, the Islamic Development Bank, to adopt strategic planning to confront those challenges guided by the Declaration issued by the Makkah Al Mukarramah Extraordinary Summit and the ten-Year Programme of Action endorsed by the Summit to meet the challenges facing the Muslim Ummah in the 21st Century.

One of the greatest challenges, Your Highness, is to meet your aspirations and those of your brothers the leaders of the Islamic Ummah through your joint pronouncement at the Summit which was convened by the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Abdullah Ibn Abdulaziz Al Saud. It is your desire that the Bank should lead the efforts to actualize the Ten-Year Programme. The Bank is extremely proud of the high confidence you have reposed in it when the Summit directed the Board of Governors of the IDB to increase its capital, to establish a poverty alleviation fund and to launch the International Islamic Trade Finance Corporation within the IDB Group.

The directives of the Makkah Al Mukarramah Summit coincided with a historic initiative, a strategic vision to develop the Bank over the next two decades. The process took place in a climate characterized by innovation, with the participation of more than 220 intellectuals and experts under the leadership of H.E. Dr Mahathir Mohamed, former Prime Minister of Malaysia and H.E. Dr Bahrudeen Habibie, former President of Indonesia. The initiative has also produced ideas on how to deal with the ever changing needs of member countries and ways of improving the services the IDB Group renders to keep up with international standards, drawing inspiration from and guided by Islamic principles.

There emerged from the initiative a strategic vision presented to the Board of Executive Directors to serve as the focus for the Bank’s future orientation, priorities, and specific programmes, Insha Allah. The Board of Executive Directors directed the Bank’s management to propose strategic proposals and specific programmes as a way of taking practical steps to benefit from this vision. I consider it necessary for me, on behalf of the Board of Executive Directors, to express our deepest gratitude to members of the “IDB Vision 1440 team? for their successful efforts in this praiseworthy endeavour, especially H.E. the former Prime Minister of Malaysia, Dr Tun Mahathir Mohamed, who directed the work of the committee with diligently. I would also commend the prominent role of H.E. Professor Bahrudeen Habibie and all members of the committee. I cannot fail to commend the Bank received from H.E. the Prime Minister of Malaysia Dato Seri Abdullah Ibn Hajj Ahmad Badawi, Chairman of the Islamic Summit and a former Chairman of the IDB Board of Governors for his efforts in elaborating this vision.

The Board of Executive Directors has directed that a top priority of the Bank should be the introduction of necessary organizational reforms to the Bank’s structure and organs to enable it face new challenges and implement future strategic plans with high efficiency. This requires transcending the Bank’s traditional role of centered on providing financing to that of a catalyst for the exchange of expertise and knowledge, attracting investments to member countries, encouraging their intra-trade and intra-investment and developing their exports. All this will be in addition to its historic mission of fighting poverty and providing dignified living for the people of the Ummah.

Your Highness,
Your Excellencies Governors,
Distinguished Guests,

Allow me on behalf of the Board of Executive Directors to express heartfelt appreciation to the Governors for their continuous support and encouragement to the Bank, thereby enabling it to better contribute to the economic and social development process of member countries.

In their speeches at the 30th Annual Meeting last year in Putrajaya, Their Excellencies the Governors raised important issues and proposed relevant on improving the effectiveness of your institution. Those issues have been carefully studied and the Bank has commenced practical steps to incorporate your proposals in its programmes in order to contribute more effectively in boosting economic and social development and forge closer cooperation among member countries.

Your Highness,
Your Excellencies Governors,
Distinguished Guests,

We are gathered here today for the 31st Annual Meeting of the esteemed Board of Governors. The deliberations, directives and recommendations of Their Excellencies at previous meetings have remained the main pillar around which the Bank draws its policies and selects its operations. At your meeting today, the Bank hopes, as has been the practice, to benefit from your deliberations and views for it to rely in them in meeting future challenges.

A few weeks ago, on behalf of the Board of Executive Directors, I dispatched copies of the preliminary 31st Annual Reports to all Governors and Alternate Governors to afford them the opportunity to examine the Bank’s operations and activities for 1426H as well as the new policies it introduced so that they can furnish the Board of Executive Directors and the Bank’ management with their directives and observations.

Pursuant to the Bank’s Article of Agreement, I present to Your Excellencies today the 31st Annual Report of the Bank, which contains the audited closing accounts and reviews the Bank’s operations and activities in the year just ended. Without going into the details of these operations, permit me to point out the salient activities of the Bank during 1426H.

The financing approved by the Bank for its operations in 1426H totaled USD 3987 million compared to USD 4856 million in the previous year, which represents a decrease of 18 percent. The financing approved in 1426H included the sum of USD 2240 million for projects and technical assistance, which represents an increase of 10 percent compared to the previous year, when the total approval for operation was USD 2026 million. The size of project financing and technical assistance from ordinary capital resources, with the exception of financing from sukuk resources, increased from ID 859,7 million (USD 1218.6 million) in 1425H to ID 913.1 million (1338.5 million) in1426H, an increase of 6.2 percent. The volume of financing from institutions and funds affiliated to the IDB Group also increased from ID348.9 million (USD 522.62 million) in 1425H to ID 538.07 million (USD776.76 million) in 1426H, i.e. an increase of 54.2%.

The sectoral distribution for all operations financed from the ordinary resources apart from operations financed from Sukuk resources is as follows: 49% for public utilities, 15% for transport and communications, 18% for the social sector (education and health), 6% for agriculture and agro-industry, 9% for industry and mining and 3% for financial services and other sectors.

Overall concessionary financing approved for African member countries of the IDB stood at 154, 33 million Islamic Dinars (US$ 227,65 million) i.e. double the amount of Islamic Dinars 65,84 (US$ 97,46 approved for Asian member countries). The overall financing from the ordinary resources approved for least developed member countries stood at 270,58 Islamic Dinars (US$ 423,39 million) in 1426H. The Bank approved 177 million Islamic Dinars (US$ 260,67 million) i.e. 79% of the overall concessionary financing for least developed member countries.

As for trade financing operations, financing declined from US$ 2810 million i.e. by 38% in 1425H to US$ 1735 million in 1426H. This temporary adjustment in trade financing operations in 1426H was brought about by the need to satisfy sound organizational and financial conditions to ensure that the Bank’s financial position is sound.

The total accumulated amount approved by the Bank by the year ending 1426H for project financing, technical assistance and trade operations stood at more than US$ 47,8 billion for 4980 operations (US$ 41,4 billion without operations cancelled after approval). If the amount approved during the first months of 1427H is included, the total accumulated amount approved by the IDB Group to date for financing has stood at approximately US$ 49 billion.

Overall disbursements in 1426H stood at US$ 2575 million compared with US$ 3198 over the previous year. This 20% drop in disbursements was due to a sharp drop in trade operations over the past year as stated earlier.

The total accumulated amounted spent by the IDB Group to date has stood at US$ 22.3 billion Islamic Dinars (US$ 29.9 billion). The total amount paid to the Bank stood at 1.49 billion Islamic Dinars (US$ 2.15 billion) in 1426H compared with 1.8 billion Islamic Dinars (US$ 1.62 billion) in 1425H thus representing an increase of 37.9% compared with the previous year. The total accumulated amount paid to the Bank so far stands at 17 billion Islamic Dinars (US$ 22.7 billion).

Your Highness,
Your Excellencies Governors,
Distinguished Guests,

The Bank’s technical assistance operations is not confined to its member countries only but it includes, in accordance with the Bank’s articles of agreement, Muslim communities in non-member countries. The assistance approved under this programme by the year ending 1426H stood at approximately US$ 597 million for the financing of 1126 operations including education and health projects, assistance for refugees, relief for disaster victims in member countries and in Muslim communities in non-member countries

The Bank continued the scholarship programme for Muslim communities in non-member countries and the Merit Scholarship Programme in member countries and the MSc. Programme for least developed member countries. So far nearly 8,000 students in member countries and in Muslim communities in non-member countries have benefited from these programmes. Over 4,000 of them have graduated in engineering, medicine, pharmacology, agriculture and other scientific disciplines.

The Bank’s overall revenue rose from 208 million Islamic Dinars in 1425H to 272.5 million Islamic Dinars in 1426H. This represents a net income of 145.1 million Islamic Dinars of ordinary capital resources, the highest net income in the Bank’s history. This net income is double the income the Bank received last year, which stood at 69.2 million Islamic Dinars. This increase is due to an increase in the overall income, strict control of administrative expenses and amount returned to the provision for asset depreciation of 37.1 million Islamic Dinars. Regardless of this amount, the increase in the net income in 1426H represents a 55.8% increase over the net income of 1425H.

The Bank devised in 1426H “Reverse Murabaha? to mobilize short-term resources from the market. Financial institutions invest funds, in keeping with this arrangement, in banks under accepted conditions. The Bank approved this year under review limit of 500 million Islamic Dinars for reverse Murabaha operations for a due date of one year. The new instrument has aroused the interest of financial institutions and central banks in member countries.

Your Excellencies Governors,

I am delighted to indicate that the Bank, by the Grace of Allah, and the support and assistance of member countries as well as the your sound advice, has maintained for the third year in a row the highest credit rating AAA for long-term risks and A1+ for short- term risks by Standard & Poors. I am sure that this level of rating maintained by the Bank will reflect positively on its effort to mobilize financial resources under the best possible terms from the market in order to implement its strategic plan.

Your Excellencies Governors,

I would like to congratulate you on the Articles of Agreement of the International Islamic Trade Finance Corporation you have just signed. So a new entity will come into existence to serve member countries, which, by the Grace of Allah, will be a partner that promotes their investments and intra-trade. We are extremely delighted that such an event has taken place on the soil of Kuwait under your high patronage. This institution has come into being to foster closer commercial and economic cooperation among member countries in line with the IDB Group’s effort to build the capacity of economic institutions and develop human capital on the basis of science and knowledge.

At this juncture, I have the pleasure to invite Their Excellencies, the Governors and all participants to the annual ministerial symposium on the “Role of the Private Sector in Promoting Intra-Trade, Intra-Investment and Joint Venture? that the Bank will organize in collaboration with the Ministry of Finance of the State of Kuwait. His Excellency, Br. Seyid Muhammad Khatami, former president of the Islamic Republic of Iran will make a statement at the symposium. The Bank hopes to seek guidance from the conclusions of the symposium to draw up policies and make interventions on the subject of the symposium.

Your Excellencies Governors

In its bid to safeguard its good reputation and outstanding performance, the Bank constantly reviews the modus operandi of its departments in order to ensure peak efficiency. Acting upon proposals by the Honourable Governors at meetings of previous years, the Bank has taken a host of practical measures.

In 1426H, the Bank reviewed the normal financing requirements such as the extension of the loans repayment period from 15 years to a maximum of 20 years with a grace period of 5 years, raising the financing ceiling for one project from 35 million to 80 million Islamic Dinars (US$ 114 million) for ordinary financing.

In connection with resource mobilization for trade financing operations, the Bank has adopted revised guidelines for syndicated and two-step Murabaha financing. The ceiling for approved amounts has also been raised together with that of the components of the currency basket. Additionally, it is now possible to utilize the resources thus mobilized for the purpose of financing imports from diverse sources of supply.

Your Excellencies Governors

You are also meeting today in your capacity as members of the Board of Governors of the Islamic Corporation for the Insurance of Investment and Export Credit, with an agenda that includes, inter alia, consideration of the annual report and financial statements of the Corporation. As Your Excellencies are aware, this Corporation aims at consolidating cooperation among member countries and enhancing their intra-trade and intra-investment by providing insurance against various risks. The Corporation has enjoying your continued support ever since it was established a decade ago. In 1426H, its operations continued to grow steadily, with new insurance commitments increasing by 70% to US$ 808 million. Likewise, the volume of actual underwriting has increased by 83% to stand at US$ 618 million. Thus, total underwriting commitments have stood at US$ 2.4 billion whereas the overall volume of underwriting has stood at US$ 1.4 billion.

In this connection, I would like take this opportunity to appeal to IDB member countries that have not yet joined the Corporation to do so as soon as possible. Needless to say that the Corporation looks forward to your continued and full support to enhance its role in promoting intra-investment and intra-trade in member countries.

Your Highness,
Your Excellencies Governors,
Distinguished Guests,

The activities of this gathering include, among others, the convening of the 6th General Assembly of the Islamic Corporation for the Development of the Private Sector, which consider its annual report and closing accounts. This Corporation has completed six years of operations since it was established. The Bank would like to express its appreciation and gratitude to member countries for the active support they have extended to this nascent institution. We also look forward to seeing all member countries joining the ICD as soon as possible so as to make the services of the Corporation available to the private sector in these countries.

In this regard, I would like to point out that the operations of the Corporation have recorded considerable and rapid growth in its operations in 1426H with approvals amounting to US$ 176 million for 26 operations, which represents a 67% increase over the previous year. This brings the cumulative financing extended by the Corporation to a total of US$ 407 million for 68 projects.

Your Highness,
Your Excellencies Governors,
Distinguished Guests,

The Bank has continued, in 1426H, to closely monitor the operations of the Infrastructure Fund in coordination with other shareholders with a view to improving its performance and efficiency. With the Grace of Allah these efforts have been successful with more new projects approved during year under review, which brings the cumulative approvals by the Fund by the year ending 1426H to a total US$ 496 million. Furthermore, it should be pointed out that the Fund has realized a good return and has distributed dividends to the shareholders last year as a result of its investments. The Fund is getting closer to the point when it will be able to utilize fully the resources available to it, while gradually withdrawing from its investment projects as a prelude to closing the Fund in due course.

Against the backdrop of its awareness that the economic and social development of member countries requires concerted efforts by all concerned, the Bank is engaged in a close cooperation with members of the coordination group which, in addition to itself, also includes the Kuwait Fund for Arab Economic Development, the Saudi Development Fund, the Abu Dhabi Development Fund, and the Qatar Development Fund. Other members of the group are the Arab Fund for Economic and Social Development, the Arab Bank for Economic Development in Africa, the OPEC Fund for International Development, and the Arab Gulf Programme to Support UNDP Institutions. The Bank also has close cooperation with multilateral development institutions, bilateral financing institutions, United Nations specialized agencies, and others that are active in the area of development. I am pleased to seize this opportunity to express the appreciation of the Islamic Development Bank to all these institutions for the worthwhile cooperation we have received from them.

Excellencies the Governors

The promotion of economic and commercial cooperation among member countries has been a distinctive characteristic of development financing activity in the Bank since its inception. The Bank is particularly keen to strengthen cooperation through the financing of intra-trade operations, building the capacity of economic institutions as well as developing and exchanging knowledge-based human capital.

The IDB Group is currently promoting intra-investment in addition to intra-trade because it is a way of fostering economic cooperation among its member countries. The Bank has also organized four major events in Jeddah and Kuala Lumpur in order to promote intra-investment. The Bank’s promotion of such activities is designed to increase awareness that it is possible to seize intra-trade investment opportunities.

As I said in the previous meeting, the close cooperation relations the Bank built with COMCEC was crowned by the first negotiation round on the trade concessional regime among OIC member States. Twenty-four countries signed up the framework agreement on the establishment of a trade concessional regime, and twenty-four countries was ratified it. Owing to the need to develop bilateral trade among the member countries, I wish to call, from this podium, upon the countries that have not yet signed or ratified the agreement to hasten doing it, take the necessary steps for that purpose, participate in the negotiations, and implement as soon as possible what has already been agreed upon in the first round. I am pleased on this occasion to commend the efforts exerted by the Republic of Turkey for the success of the negotiations. In this context, I would like to stress that the Islamic Development Bank will pursue, God willing, its cooperation with COMCEC in this field.

Excellencies the Governors,

In keeping with the guidelines of OIC subsidiary Permanent Committee for Economic and Trade Cooperation (COMCEC), the Bank spared no effort to provide the necessary support for the member countries so that they consult among themselves before the World Trade Organisation (WTO) Ministerial conferences. In this context, the Bank carried out detailed studies on issues pertaining to the conference deliberations. It also convened consultative meetings for experts from the member countries to discuss and exchange views on the issues at hand.

Before the WTO ministerial conference, held in Hong-Kong in Dhal qadah 1427 H (December 2006), the Bank called a consultative ministerial meeting, attended by delegates from 35 member countries and by other international organizations. The meeting provided a good opportunity to exchange ideas and inform the delegates about the latest developments pertaining to the items on the conference agenda. The Bank also convened eleven training sessions, a workshop on WTO, and two experts’ meetings on the enhancement of cooperation and competitiveness in the field of cotton within the member countries.

Excellencies the Governors

In keeping with the guidelines set by your distinguished council, the Bank has laid special emphasis on the support of the least developed among its member countries. In this context, in line with the action plan, the Bank is implementing the Ouagadougou Declaration,. A special Governors committee will pinpoint, on the sidelines of the present meeting, as is customary, the progress made in this context and will provide advice and guidelines on what has already been achieved and what remains to be done, in relation to the Declaration.

While the Bank is trying to mobilize market resources for its ordinary operations, it in urgent need for your advice, views, and proposals on the best ways and means to mobilize further resources with a view to increasing the current limited resources dedicated to health, education, infrastructure projects, small and medium establishments in order to combat poverty in the least developed among the member countries. It is in this context that is envisaged the creation of a fund to combat poverty, as can be seen in the first item of the Council agenda.

The adoption of the “Cooperation Declaration between the Bank and Africa? in the year 1423 H (2002) was a good opportunity to provide targeted development assistance amounting to USD 2 billion over a period of 5 years, to stimulate economic development and assist the sub-Saharan African member countries in the achievement of the Millennium Development Goals. Funding approved by IDB Group in 1426 H, and dedicated to trade projects and technical assistance in these countries, amounted to 289.34 million Islamic Dinars (USD 424.2 million). The cumulated total of funding approved within the framework of the afore-mentioned Declaration amounted to USD 1.2 billion.
Excellencies, the Governors,

As part of its strategic objectives, the Bank continues supporting the development of the Islamic banking industry and has contributed to the capacity building of the support infrastructure institutions (the Accounting and Auditing Organisation for Islamic Financial Institutions; the General Council for Islamic Banks and Financial Institutions; the International Islamic Financial Market; the Islamic Financial Services Council; the Liquidity Management Centre; the International Islamic Rating Agency; the International Islamic Centre for Reconciliation and Commercial Arbitration). In 1426H, the Bank participated in the capital of four Islamic banks and of a Takaful re-assurance company. A major initiative was launched in 1426H by both the Bank and the Islamic Financial Services Council: “the Islamic financial services ten-year plan framework?, including a strategic vision to develop Islamic financial intermediation at the national and international levels. Among the other major activities of the Bank in the year concerned is the cooperation with the Liquidity Management Centre to identify a negotiable short-term liquidity instrument, called “the short-term Sukuk programme,? whereby the Bank provides support to the market building process, in the hope of solving the chronic problem of liquidity management in the Islamic financial institutions. There is not enough room here to review in more depth the Bank’s entire action during the previous year. Its salient features can be found in the address that will be circulated to the participants following the opening ceremony, God willing.

Your Highness,
Excellencies, the Governors,
Ladies and Gentlemen,

We all have been awed by the aftermaths of the earthquake that hit the North of Pakistan and Kashmir. The Bank expressed its condolences to the families of the earthquake victims. Your institution, the Islamic Development Bank, reacted to this catastrophe and took the initiative to provide help and assistance and distribute tents and other emergency needs. The Board of Executive Directors agreed to dedicate USD 500 to fund the reconstruction of the afflicted area, with special emphasis on education, health, and infrastructure.

Our hearts are bleeding to see what is befalling our brothers in Palestine, as a consequence of the oppression, injustice and suffering inflicted upon them, while the large at large is watching and doing nothing to help them. Your institution, the Islamic Development Bank, is doing its utmost to help the Palestinian people defend the sacred land of Al-Quds, pursue their struggle and resistance to recover their alienated rights. In this context, the Bank financed, out of its own resources, various projects in the field of health and education in Palestine, and organized many fairs and exhibitions to publicize the Palestinian products, hoping thus to lighten the effects of the embargo imposed on the Palestinian economy and to promote their exports.

In accordance with the Arab Summit Resolution, the Bank continues to manage the Aqsa and Al-Quds funds, thus contributing to offer educational opportunities, bring health care to needy families in Palestine, fund development projects, and support the Palestinian economy by all means available.

Your institution, the Islamic Development Bank, is following with much interest the situation in Iraq. As you all know, the Board of Executive Directors dedicated USD 500 million as a contribution to the reconstruction effort. Within the limits of the amount, the Bank took many initiatives to provide emergency assistance and approved the first educational project. It is looking forward to closer cooperation with the Iraqi authorities in the reconstruction of the country.

The Bank welcomes the auspicious agreement reached in Abuja concerning Darfur, in the Sudan, and we hope that this will be the first step on the way towards reconciliation and that this is a good opportunity to enhance the development efforts in the region. In this context, the Bank is willing to cooperate with its development partners to carry out joint projects, particularly in the fields of education, health, water and agriculture.

Your Highness,
Your Excellencies the Governors
Ladies and Gentlemen

The Bank welcomes with appreciation the guidelines issued by your distinguished council and I am happy to express my most sincere thanks to the Board of Executive Directors for the efforts they are exerting. I also extend my thanks to all the colleagues in the Bank for their active participation. My most sincere gratitude goes to the host country, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, for its kind attention and continuous support. I would also like to thank all the Kuwaiti Directorates and organizations, as well as the brothers and sisters who arranged for this meeting, the media people who covered extensively the proceedings of our meeting. My most sincere thanks go to Your Highness for the honour you bestowed upon us all.

Allow me to call upon Almighty Allah to guide our steps in the service of our Ummah and its progress. May He uphold Kuwait’s security and dignity under your wise guidance.

Wassalamu Alaikum Warahmatullahi Wabarakatuh!