PARAMARIBO, Suriname -- The Surinamese government has recently reactivated the country’s membership of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC), in a bid to enhance development cooperation and economic ties with the Middle-East.

The Desi Bouterse administration is currently diversifying Suriname’s development aid policies, targeting several potential donors to help finance its programs.

The Islamic Development Bank (IsDB), the OIC’s financing branch, is one of many institutions that could provide financing for several government programs, said minister of Foreign Affairs, Winston Lackin.

“We believe this organization is an important one, taking into consideration the resources which are available through the IsDB to finance our programs and projects,” the cabinet minister added.

According to Lackin, the government will in the near future review to what extent the IsDB funds could be utilized.

The reactivation of Suriname’s OIC membership comes at the heels of bilateral talks President Bouterse held in New York in September 2010 with OIC secretary-general Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu.

Suriname re-established its relationship with the OIC recently during the annual ministerial meeting in Kazakhstan.

“Development of our agricultural sector is important to the government. Especially the agro and food processing industries need a boost,” said minister Lackin.

By Ivan Cairo, Published on July 27, 2011