21st - 23rd November 2017

Sarawak, Malaysia

Since the 2008 financial crisis, income inequality across the globe has risen sharply, the global economy is moving significantly from asset-based economic transactions to an increasingly speculative financial one, resulting in weaker domestic economies and a fragile financial system. While economists and decision makers search for solutions to the current problem, disruptive technological advancements are increasingly transforming our daily lives, creating new opportunities and reshaping traditional industries. Disruptive changes in the form of artificial intelligence (AI), blockchain, Internet of Things (IoT), and other medical and manufacturing technologies, continue to radically alter how we do things, how leadership is perceived, how businesses are run, and how manpower is organised.

What do we need to do to adapt to disruptive changes? Is it the answer to our global structural problems? The 13th WIEF that will be held at the Borneo Convention Centre in Kuching, Sarawak, creates a platform for us to discuss these burning issues, find solutions and develop initiatives that can better prepare us for the technological revolution that is going to change our lives.

The 13th WIEF was held on 21st – 23rd November 2017 at Borneo Convention Centre Kuching, Sarawak, Malaysia.

Download Forum report Here

Session Topics:

  • Face to Face
  • Sarawak Focus – Sneak Peek preview on Sarawak Forestry and Preservation
  • Global Economic Outlook – Reimagining an Inclusive Economic System
  • Business Networking Breakfast
  • Initiative Room – Developing Women Entrepreneurship
  • Leadership Panel – Identifying the Archetypes of Leadership and Their Unique Roles in Business
  • Masterclass – Can Herbology Discover Cures for Tomorrow’s Diseases?
  • Masterclass – Disruptive Marketing
  • Sarawak Focus – A Sneak Peek preview on Hydropower Development and Community Engagement Programmes in Sarawak
  • Initiative Room – Technology in Agriculture
  • Panel Discussion – Mapping out Tomorrow’s Business
  • Masterclass – What are the Essential Differences between Management and Leadership?
  • Initiative Room – Generating Renewable Energy
  • Panel Discussion – The Prospect of Fintech in Islamic Finance
  • Masterclass – How Can SME Producers Enter into the Mainstream Halal Value Chain?
  • Initiative Room – Fintech
  • Panel Discussion – Reconceptualising Education for the 4th Industrial Revolution
  • Ideapad
  • Initiative Room – Innovation in Education
  • Panel Discussion – Fostering Entrepreneurship Amongst Women
  • Masterclass – The Internet of Things (IoT) Technology a Threat to Security or a Revolutionary Opportunity?
  • Sarawak Focus – Investment Opportunity in Sarawak Corridor of Renewable Energy (SCORE)
  • Sarawak Focus – Sarawak State Initiatives on Digital Economy
  • Sarawak Focus – Sarawak as a Premium Tourist Destination
  • Panel Discussion – Blockchain Technology and Its Impact on International Trade



  • MOCAfest Visual Exhibition
  • MOCAfest Soundscapes Concert


The Hon. Tun Musa Hitam, Chairman of the WIEF Foundation
The Hon. Dato’ Sri Mohd Najib Tun Abdul Razak, Prime Minister of Malaysia & Patron of the WIEF Foundation
Tan Sri Dato’ Ahmad Fuzi Haji Abdul Razak, Secretary General, WIEF Foundation, Malaysia
The Rt. Honourable Datuk Patinggi (Dr) Abang Haji Abdul Rahman Zohari Bin Tun Datuk Abang Haji Openg
Steve Wozniak, Co-founder, Apple Inc
Alan Laubsch, Director of Natural Capital Markets, Lykke
Andreas Hatzigeorgiou, Chief Economist, Stockholm Chamber of Commerce
Andreas Schleicher, Director of Directorate of Education and Skills, OECD
Anu Chadha, Founder and Chief Executive Officer, 3A Clothing Company
Armin Osmancevic, Co-founder and Chief Executive Officer, Mybazar
Brian W. Tang, Managing Director, Asia Capital Markets Institute (ACMI)
Camelia Tan Sri Ya’acob, Founder and Envoy Executive, Rootwommers Sdn Bhd
Camille R. Escudero, President, Business and Professional Women (BPW)
Daniel Sieberg, Author of The Digital Diet and Co-founder of the News Lab, Google
Dato’ Dr Norraesah Mohamad, Chairman, WIEF Businesswomen Network and My E.G. Services Berhad
Dato’ Seri Tengku Dr Zainal Adlin Tengku Mahamood, Chairman, The Sabah Parks Board of Trustees
Dato’ Abdul Aziz Mat, Principal Consultant, CIVET Technologies Sdn Bhd
Dato’ Mohd Izani Ghani, Executive Director of Investments, Khazanah Nasional Berhad
Dato’ Richard Alexander John Curtis, Group Managing Director, Cahya Mata Sarawak Bhd
Datu Ik Pahon Anak Joyik, Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Tourism, Arts, Culture, Youth and Sports Sarawak
Datuk N. Rajendran, Deputy Chief Executive Officer, Malaysian Investment Development Authority (Mida)
Dr Alexander Böhmer, Head of Division (Southeast Asia), OECD
Dr Anirban Sukul, Director, Sukul Institute of Homeopathic Research
Dr Chen Shiun, Vice President Research and Development, Sarawak Energy Berhad
Dr Soraya R. Ismail, Managing Director, Vitality Boost Sdn Bhd, Malaysia
Dr Yeo Tiong Chia, Chief Executive Officer, Sarawak Biodiversity Centre
Ebrahim Patel, Chairman, Young Leaders Network, WIEF Foundation and Managing Director, TransAfrix Holdings, South Africa
Essa Al Ghurair, Vice Chairman, Al Ghurair Investment LLC
Farzam Ehsani, Blockchain Lead, Rand Merchant Bank (RMB)
Glenn Rolfsen, Psychotherapist, Stamina Group
H.E. Djaffar Ahmed Said Hassani, Vice President, Comoros
H.E. Dr Mohamed Nouri Jouini, Vice President, Islamic Development Bank
H.E. Dr Saad Eddine El Otmani, Head of Government, Morocco
H.E. Masoud Karbasian, Minister of Economic Affairs and Finance, Iran
H.E. Mohammad Javad Azari Jahromi, Minister of Communications and Information Technology, Iran
H.E. Nico Barito, Special envoy of Seychelles for Asean, Seychelles
H.E. Professor Dr Ernesto M. Pernia, Socioeconomic Planning Secretary, Philippines
H.E. Rustam Nurgaliyevich Minnikhanov, President, Republic of Tatarstan of the Russian Federation
Haji Sapuan bin Ahmad, Director Forest Department Sarawak
Jeffrey Lo, Distinguished Engineer and Chief Architect Cisco Systems Inc
Jo Robrechts, Executive Chairman, Triamant
Johan Bygge, Chairman, EQT Asia Pacific
Kamarul Bahrin Haron, Deputy Editor-in-Chief, Astro Awani
Kunrat Wirasubrata, Acting Director, Islamic Development Bank Group, Regional Office for Southeast Asia
Lisa Oake, Chief Executive Officer, Oake Media
Marc Prensky, Founder and Executive Director, Global Future Education Foundation and Institute
Martin Tan, Executive Director, Institute for Societal Leadership Singapore, Singapore Management University
Mohamed Geraldez, Entrepreneur and Investor
Mumtaz Khan, Advisor Nogaholding
Nasser Munjee, Chairman, DCB Bank Ltd
Ramji Raghavan, Founder and Chairman, Agastya International Foundation
Roshan Thiran, Chief Executive Officer Leaderonomics
Salahuddin Kasem Khan, Managing Director and CEO, A.K. Khan & Co Limited, and Executive Chairman SEACO Foundation
Samba Bathily, Co-founder and Chief Executive Officer Solektra International
Sevket Can Tulumen, Chairman Foreign Relations Committee, MÜSİAD Businessmen’s Association
Sharbini Suhaili, Chief Executive Officer, Sarawak Energy
Tan Sri Abdul Wahid Omar, Group Chairman, Permodalan Nasional Berhad (PNB)
Tan Sri Dato’ Abdul Ghani Othman, Chairman of the Board, Sime Darby Berhad
Tan Sri Dato’ Dr Wan Mohd Zahid Mohd Noordin, Chairman, University Pendidikan Sultan Idris (UPSI), and Chairman, WIEF Education Trust
Tanri Abeng, Chairman WIEF SME Initiative WIEF Foundation President Commissioner PT Pertamina and Former Minister State-Owned Enterprises
Teymoor Nabili, Journalist and Broadcaster
The Hon. Datuk Amar Haji Awang Tengah Ali Hasan, Deputy Chief Minister of Sarawak Second Minister of Urban Development and Natural Resources and Minister of Industrial & Entrepreneur Development, Sarawak
The Hon. Tan Sri Datuk Amar (Dr) Haji Mohamad Morshidi Abdul Ghani, Sarawak State Secretary
Tobias Puehse, Vice President, MasterCard Labs
Todd Ashton, President, Ericsson Malaysia, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh


Hosted by

Strategic Partners

Platinum Plus

Platinum Sponsors

Gold Sponsors


Silver Sponsors



 Preferred Payment Partner Official Car Partner  Supporting Airline Partner
Business Exchange Partner

Media Partners


Local Partners


23 November 2017, Kuching, Malaysia

The 13th World Islamic Economic Forum (WIEF) with the theme, “Disruptive Change: Impact and Challenges” was held in Kuching on 21-23 November 2017.

The Forum was held against a backdrop of geopolitical turbulence, refugee crises, impact of populist policies, uncertain fate of multilateral agreements including on climate change and international trade as well as the advent of the 4th Industrial Revolution.

The Opening Session of the 13th WIEF was addressed by the Hon. Datuk Patinggi Mohd Najib Tun Abdul Razak, Prime Minister of Malaysia and Patron of the WIEF Foundation, the Hon. Datuk Patinggi (Dr.) Abang Haji Abdul Rahman Zohari bin Tun Datuk Abang Haji Openg, Chief Minister of Sarawak and the Hon. Tun Musa Hitam, Chairman of the WIEF Foundation.

The Prime Minister of Malaysia moderated the Special Addresses delivered by H.E. Dr Saad Eddine El Othmani, Head of Government of the Kingdom of Morocco, H.E. Djaffer Ahmed Said Hassani, Vice President of the Union of Comoros, H.E. Rustam Nurgaliyevich Minnikhanov, President of the Republic of Tatarstan of the Russian Federation, H.E. Bambang Permadi Soemantri Brodjonegoro, Minister of National Development Planning and Special Representative of H.E. Joko Widodo, President of the Republic of Indonesia and H.E. Dr. Mohamed Jouini, Vice President of the Islamic Development Bank.

The Forum was also attended by 3,249 participants including 23 Ministers, State Ministers and Special Representatives from Malaysia, Indonesia, Philippines, Iran, Palestine, Morocco, Kazakhstan and Russia, leading corporate figures, businesswomen, young entrepreneurs, thought leaders, academia, representatives of the creative arts and the media from 77 countries.

A highlight of the Forum was the presentation by Steve Wozniak, Co-Founder of Apple Inc.

The Forum discussed topics relating to impact and challenges of disruptive change on the global economy, mapping future businesses, reimagining an inclusive economic system, prospects of Fintech in Islamic finance, reconceptualizing education and skills for the 4th industrial revolution, fostering entrepreneurship amongst women and youth, SMEs, the Halal value chain, the Internet of Things and Blockchain Technology.

The Forum focused on promoting economic collaboration and business leadership through a variety of programmes including Panel Discussions, Masterclasses, Initiative Room sessions, Business Networking Breakfast, Awqaf Exchange @ WIEF, Business Exchange, Ideapad, LinkedUp, Special Complementary Programmes, Sponsors Programmes, Country Investment Programmes, WIEF Exhibition and Marketplace of Creative Arts (MOCAfest).

The Forum addressed global issues of concern including the following:

– Disruptive change caused by rapid technological development requires innovation and creativity by nation states to overcome the impact and challenges so as to ensure equitable economic prosperity;

– The serious economic implications arising from humanitarian and refugee-related crises, including those that affect the Rohingyas as well as refugees in other parts of the world that require concerted international interventions;

– The importance of preserving the interlinkages between digital economy and the green economy.

Notable recommendations arising from the various Sessions of the Forum included the following:

i. To pursue digital transformation including state of the art technology to enhance efficiency and productivity in agriculture, manufacturing, financial services, education, skills development and training, infrastructure development and healthcare;

ii. To promote an enabling environment for the development of Waqf and social finance as important components in the Islamic finance industry;

iii. To foster the development of a halal ecosystem incorporating Halal food, Islamic finance, Halal travel, Modest fashion, Halal media and recreation, and Halal pharmaceuticals and cosmetics;

iv. To enhance inter-governmental regional collaboration to promote the green economy, particularly green technology and wildlife conservation including species facing the threat of extinction;

v. To ensure that disruptive change covering Artificial Intelligence and Robotics, Fintech, Blockchain, the Internet of Things, Big Data Computing and Autonomous or Driverless Vehicles, and Bitcoin operates within an appropriate regulatory framework.

A special “Sarawak Focus” Programme covering Investment Opportunity in Sarawak Corridor of Renewable Energy, Sarawak State Initiatives on Digital Economy and Sarawak as a Premium Tourist Destination was also held during the Forum.

16 MoUs and Agreements relating to technology, telecommunications, halal industry, retail partnership, financial services and food industry amounting to USD2.43 billion were exchanged during the Forum.

The Forum recorded its appreciation to the Hon. Datuk Patinggi Mohd Najib Tun Abdul Razak, Prime Minister of Malaysia & Patron, WIEF Foundation, the Hon. Datuk Patinggi (Dr.) Abang Haji Abdul Rahman Zohari bin Tun Datuk Abang Haji Openg, Chief Minister of Sarawak and both the Federal and State Government Agencies involved for hosting the 13th WIEF in Kuching, Sarawak, Malaysia and for the warm hospitality accorded to all participants.

Finally, the Forum also acknowledged the contribution and support of Members of the International Advisory Panel, Sponsors, Partners, Role Players, Secretariat, Liaison Officers and Volunteers.