Fourth Turkish-Asian congress begins
Organized by the Turkish-Asian Center for Strategic Studies (TASAM) with the theme of Regional Organization, Institutionalization and Cooperation in Asia, the Fourth International Turkish-Asian Congress began yesterday in Istanbul. Top executives of many international organizations, numerous experts, academics and media members from countries across Asia are attending the event. Addressing the opening session of the congress, Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC) Secretary-General Ekemeleddin Ihsanoglu said the world’s economic power balance center’s changing place from the West to the East has naturally increased the interest in the developments of Asia. Recalling that while Asian share in international trade volume was 19 percent in 1950, this figure has reached 34 percent in recent years, Ihsanoglu said Asia would soon have a stronger place in the world economy with a share of 44 percent in international trade. In parallel with its remarkable economic development in the last three decades, the Asia continent has also gained more importance in the world politics, he said. Ihsanoglu added, "Together with the globalization process that has been rapidly continuing around the world, the process of regionalization is also spreading out day by day. Various countries have focused on cooperating with each other in different areas, with economy being in the first place. The OIC aims to create a region free from nuclear weapons to promote a stable and secure environment for economic development."