The 7th World Islamic Economic Forum (WIEF) was held in Astana, Republic of Kazakhstan from 7-9 June 2011, amidst challenging global conditions.
Highlighting the theme “Globalising Growth: Connect, Compete, Collaborate”, the Forum focused on building a consensus on practical and innovative approaches to address socio-economic imperatives impacting the Muslim world.
The Forum, which was opened by H.E. Nursultan Nazarbayev, the President of the Republic of Kazakhstan, also saw the attendance of His Excellencies President Ismail Omar Guelleh of Djibouti, Prime Minister Karim Masimov of Kazakhstan, Prime Minister Dato? Sri Najib Tun Abdul Razak of Malaysia, Prime Minister Oqil Oqilov of Tajikistan, Vice President Prof. Dr. Boediono of Indonesia, Deputy Prime Minister Dr. Ros Nuri Shawels of Iraq and First Vice Prime Minister Omurbek Babanov of Kyrgyzstan, former Leaders, the President of the Islamic Development Bank, Ministers, Chief Executives of leading corporations, thought leaders from the private and public sectors as well as representatives of the creative arts.
The Forum attracted more than 2500 delegates from 42 countries and saw constructive discussions on developing leadership, supporting entrepreneurship and SME?s, empowering businesswomen, globalising Islamic Banking and Finance, enhancing food and energy security, tapping into halal industry, investing in infrastructure development, harvesting alternative energy and innovating SMEs.
The Forum recommended the adoption of the following key priorities to achieve the Forum?s theme of „Globalising Growth? to realise both sustained growth and equity:
i. Good governance must be institutionalised and practiced by both governments and the private sector;
ii. Further liberalise trade, investment, knowledge, culture and labour flows within Muslim countries on a regional and sub-regional basis and with the rest of the world;
iii. Social entreneuship as an altruistic social development initiatives be propagated and developed in Islamic societies and resources be committed to promote such an initiative particularly for the benefit of youth and women;
iv. Muslim countries and sub-regional groupings should collaborate to develop „Green Growth? Roadmap?s which encompasses Energy, Food Security and Environment;
v. Support the development of a Halal Economy through the collaborative development of Halal Integrity standards and convergence with the mainstream economy;
vi. Development of a harmonised regulatory framework to accelerate the growth of Islamic Banking and Finance globally – including Syariah compliant micro-finance;
vii. Strengthen public-private sector partnerships for infrastructure development, tourism, healthcare, education and skills development in developing economies to enable efficient implementation and delivery;
viii. Emphasise innovation, competition, collaboration and knowledge transfer as key thrusts to develop successful SMEs and entrepreneurs.
The Forum welcomed the offers from the President of Kazakhstan to assess the potential for a Science and Technology Innovation Hub and from the President of the Islamic Development Bank (IDB) to work with WIEF and member countries to both identify additional specific projects and to prepare an annual report to the Forum on their progress.
Agreements covering banking and financial services, ICT, food industry, education & training sectors were signed during the Forum. Ten countries showcased trade and investment opportunities.
The Forum recorded its appreciation to His Excellency the President and the Government of Kazakhstan for hosting the 7th WIEF in Astana, Kazakhstan and for the warm hospitality accorded to all participants.