Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Fahd bin Abdulaziz received in Jeddah President of the Islamic Development Bank (IDB) Dr. Ahmed Muhammad Ali and his accompanying delegation, with whom he exchanged cordial talks. During the meeting, King Fahd stressed the importance of IDB's role in boosting economic cooperation among its member states. The delegation also met with Deputy Prime Minister and Commander of the National Guard Crown Prince Abdullah bin Abdulaziz, who gave assurances that the Kingdom would continue to provide support for the bank to proceed with its role in the service of Islamic countries; and with Second Deputy Prime Minister, Minister of Defense and Aviation, and Inspector-General Prince Sultan bin Abdulaziz.
A report issued on the occasion of the twenty-fifth anniversary of its establishment states that the IDB has granted soft loans worth about U.S. $24 billion for the financing of 833 development projects, 342 technical support operations, 1,355 trade operations and 843 special aid programs. The 53-member group has developed from one single to eight specialized financial institutions. In addition to financing development projects, the IDB plays an effective role in transferring technology to its member states, enhancing trade among Islamic countries, and providing guarantees and Islamic insurance on investments. The bank also focuses on training programs. It has so far convened 44 symposiums and workshops, and organized 32 exhibitions, on issues relating to the development of trade among Islamic countries. One of these was the Jeddah Exhibition of products from Islamic countries that was held on June 4-9 this year, with the participation of 190 companies from 36 member countries.