Speaking at the opening of the fifth World Islamic Economic Forum in the Indonesian capital, Jakarta the Indonesian President, Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono called on Muslim countries to increase cooperation in trade and investment to help stem the impact of the current global recession. "In the trade and investment sectors, especially in the current crisis, we must increase solidarity in the form of cooperation for the welfare of Muslims" he said. Mr Yudhoyono said it was time for Islamic banks to do some missionary work in the West. Islamic financial institutions, he said, had not been hit as hard as their western counterparts because they did not invest in toxic assets. The political disarray in West on how to deal with the global economic crisis clearly demonstrates that political unity is required to solve global economic problems. Islam has provided Muslims with a unique political system called the Caliphate through which Islamic solutions are implemented. The Caliphate is not a union of states like the EU or a federation like the US; rather it is unitary system where authority is invested in a single leader. This means that the sixty-odd Islamic countries have to be united under single political leadership to implement Islamic economic solutions before they can lead the world. Anything short of this will be ineffective. -SALAHUDIN AYUBI, Islamabad, via e-mail, March 11.