WASHINGTON (AFP) - President Barack Obama will lay a key plank of his strategy to mend ties with the Islamic world next week when he hosts a summit to boost economic development in Muslim nations. In a step the White House hopes will help shift relations beyond decades of talk about terrorism and conflict, a senior official said Obama will bring entrepreneurs from 50 countries to Washington on Monday and Tuesday to spur economic ties. The president pledged to host the summit in a landmark speech in Cairo last June, when he also called for a new beginning to relations between the United States and the Islamic world. Around 250 entrepreneurs will attended the summit from countries across the Muslim world. Obama is expected to discuss ways of improving access to capital, funding for technology innovation and exchange programs, as the United States tries to better its image in the eyes of the worlds 1.5 billion Muslims. The delegates will vary from 20-year-old entrepreneurs to established figures like Bangladeshi economist Muhammad Yunus, who won a Nobel prize for his work on small-scale lending. As part of Obamas plan the United States is poised to award contracts through its multi-million-dollar Global Technology and Innovation Fund, designed to spur investments in the Muslim world. The government-backed Overseas Private Investment Corporation, which is running the competition, has received a deluge of applications, which officials say is itself a sign of improving ties. Each chunk of funding awarded by OPIC is expected to be worth between 25 and 150 million dollars. Polls show Obama has won plaudits across the globe since taking office in Jan 2009. But nearly a year on from his Cairo speech, Muslims remain deeply suspicious of the US. A recent BBC World Service poll of attitudes in 28 countries showed that Turks and Pakistanis still overwhelmingly believe the United States is a negative influence on the world.