4th – 6th December, 2012

Johor Bahru, Malaysia

The 8th World Islamic Economic Forum was held in the Iskandar Development Region of the state of Johor, Malaysia, the fastest growing economic region in the country and one of the most significant business districts in Southeast Asia. Held at the Persada Johor International Convention Centre on 4 – 6 December 2012 with the theme “Changing Trends, New Opportunities” the 8th WIEF discussed the changing dynamics in global business today after the Arab uprising and Eurozone crisis which leaves many doors open to new business opportunities elsewhere across the globe.

Download the forum report here.

Session Topics:

  • Global Economic Outlook World in Flux: Leadership in Changing Times
  • Harnessing the WAQF Fund for the Muslim Ummah
  • Disaster Mitigation and Management: Role of the Private Sector
  • The Business of Nanotech: Sizing up Opportunities
  • Living Sustainable: Walking the Greener Side of Business
  • Shaping Tomorrow: Creating Leaders of the Future
  • Banking on Islamic Finance: From Legality to Economic Value
  • Investment Opportunities in Johor
  • The Rise of Prudent Economics: Rethinking Growth on a Shoestring

WIEF Businesswomen Forum 2012

  • Women Entrepreneurs: Catalyst for Change
  • Business Innovation: Chasing Success on a Shoestring
  • Women in Technology: Fostering Interest and Overcoming Obstacles

WIEF Young Leaders Forum 2012

  • Business Start-up Masterclass: Managing Finance & Risk
  • iGOVT: Developing a New Generation of Technocrats
  • WYN Dialogue Series: “Are policies in the Muslim World hindering the spirit of entrepreneurship?”
  • Crowdsourcing 101: Growing Ideas for Change: “Are you ready for us? Nurturing Social Entrepreneurship in Youth”


  • Dr Rana Dajaniis
    Founder Director, We Love Reading, Jordan
  • Alexander Dembitz
    Chairman, SOFGEN Group, Switzerland
  • David Marsh
    Chairman, Official Monetary & Financial Inst. Forum, United Kingdom
  • Haji Muhammad Alami Musa
    Director, Islamic Religious Council of Singapore (MUIS), Singapore
  • Tan Sri Dzulkifli Abdul Razak
    Vice Chancellor, Albukhary International University, Malaysia
  • Ibrahim Abdul Matin
    Consultant & Author, Environmental Policy, United States of America
  • Dr Mohd Hisham Dafterdar
    Consultant, Endowment for Arab Modern Renaissance
    Kingdom of Bahrain
  • Jamail El Jaroudi
    CEO, Bank Nizwa, Oman
  • Rushdi Siddiqui
    Global Head, Islamic Finance & OIC Countries, Thomson Reuters
  • Talal Yassine
    Founder & MD, Crescent Wealth, Australia
  • Tan Sri Dr. Jemilah Mahmood
    Senior Research Fellow, Humanitarian Futures Programme; Kings College London; Khazanah Nasional Berhad, Malaysia
  • Makoto Utsumi
    President & CEO, Japan Credit Rating Agency, Japan
  • Lerwen Liu
    Managing Director, NanoGlobe, Australia
  • Saeed Sarkar
    Secretary General, Iran Nanotechnology Initiative Council (INIC)
  • Aireen Omar
    CEO, Air Asia Berhad, Malaysia
  • Margaret Manning
    CEO, Reading Room, United States of America
  • Wandee Khunchornyakong
    Chairman and CEO, SPCG Public Company Limited, Thailand
  • Sahar Sallab
    Chairperson, Hiteknofal, Egypt
  • Aaron Maniam
    Director, Institute of Policy Development Civil
  • Shah Hakim Zain
    Group CEO, Scomi Group Bhd, Malaysia
  • Abubaker Bujaasi Mayanja
    Managing Partner, ABL Associates, Uganda
  • Amar Latif
    Founder, Traveleyes, United Kingdom
  • Azlan Sharom
    CEO, Yayasan AMIR, Malaysia
  • Basim Elkarra
    Executive Director, The Sacramento Chapter of CAIR, USA
  • Dato Hazimah Zainuddin
    Founder, Hyrax Oil Sdn Bhd, Malaysia
  • Dato’ Wan Abdullah Wan Ibrahim
    Managing Director / Chief Executive Officer,
    UEM Land Holdings Berhad, Malaysia
  • Dato’ Noorizah Hj Abd Hamid
    MD & CEO, PLUS Malaysia Berhad, Malaysia
  • Datuk Ismail Ibrahim
    CEO, Iskandar Regional Development Authority, Malaysia
  • Dr Hak Min Kim
    Senior Research Fellow, Korean Institute of Material Science (KIMS), South Korea
  • Dr Shaikha Al Maskari
    Chairperson, Al Maskari Holding, UAE
  • Dr Steffi Friedrichs
    Director General, Nanotechnology Industries Association, Belgium
  • Dr Telle Whitney
    President & CEO, Anita Borg Institute, USA
  • Hafiz Senaid Zajimovic
    Director, Waqf Foundation, Bosnia & Herzegovnia
  • Iqbal Ahmad Khan
    CEO, Fajr Capital, Dubai, UAE
  • Jehangir Malik Obe
    UK Director, Islamic Relief, United Kingdom
  • Lotfi El-Ghandouri
    Founder, Creative Society, Spain
  • Mariam Al-Foudery
    SVP, Marketing, Communications & Corporate Social Responsibility, Agility, Kuwait
  • Mohd Yazid Ja’afar
    CEO, Johor Petroleum Development Corporation, Malaysia
  • Nani Abdul Rahman
    Vice President, Origination, Global Markets, HSBC Amanah
  • Navshir Jaffer
    Assistant Secretary General
    Muslim Council Of Britain, United Kingdom
  • Ozlem Piltanoglu
    Board Member, Pantel International, Turk Telecom Group, Turkey
    Nepal Center for Disaster Management (NCDM), Nepal
  • Prof Tariq Ramadan
    Professor, Contemporary Islamic Studies
    Oxford University, United Kingdom
  • Rajeev Singh-Molares
    President, Alcatel-Lucent Asia Pacific, China
  • Ralph Dixon
    Director of Environmental Investment
    YTL Corporation Berhad, Malaysia
  • Randa Ghazy
    Author/Journalist, Afronline.com, Italy
  • Rushanara Ali Mp
    Labour Member of Parliament
    Bethnal Green and Bow, United Kingdom
  • Ebrahim Patel
    Chairman, WIEF Young Leaders Network, South Africa
  • Nana Fitriana Firman
    Initiator, Eco-Fab living, Indonesia
  • Andrew Thomas
    Regional Managing Director, Southeast Asia
    Ogilvy Public Relations, Singapore
  • Christopher Exline
    President, Home Essentials, Hong Kong
  • Kadri Ozen
    Group Public Affairs Director
    The Coca Cola Company, Eurasia and Africa
  • E. Dr Ahmed Mohamad Ali Al Madani
    President, Islamic Development Bank
  • Dato’ Dr Norraesah Mohamed
    Chairman, WIEF Businesswomen Network, Malaysia
  • Sir Edward Lister
    Chief of Staff & Deputy Mayor for Planning
    City of London, UK
  • Tuan Haji Kamaruzzaman Abu
    President & Chief Executive, Johor Corporation, Malaysia
  • B. Dato’ Sri Mustapa Mohamed
    Minister, International Trade & Industry, Malaysia
  • Shelina Janmohamed
    Vice President, Ogilvy Noor, UK
  • Dr Raymond Madden
    CEO, Asian Institute of Finance, Malaysia
  • Dr Ooi Kee Beng
    Deputy Director, Institute of Southeast Asian Studies, Singapore
  • George Hara
    Group Chairman and CEO, DEFTA Partners, Japan
  • HRH Raja Zarith Sofiah Binti
    Consort of HRH the Sultan of Johor, Malaysia
  • Sanaka Samarasinha
    Director, Global Center for Public Service Excellence, Singapore
  • Syed Mohamed Syed Ibrahim
    President & Chief Executive Officer
    Iskandar Investment Berhad, Malaysia
  • Tan Sri Dr. Sharifah Hapsah Syed Hasan
    Vice-Chancellor, National University of Malaysia, Malaysia


The 8th World Islamic Economic Forum (WIEF) with the theme, “Changing Trends, New Opportunities” was held in Johor on 4 – 6 December 2012 against the backdrop of continued uncertainty in global financial markets, on-going concerns about the stability of the Eurozone and questions about the sustainability of Asia’s export-based growth model.

The Forum was opened with a Keynote Address by the Hon. Dato’ Sri Najib Tun Abdul Razak, the Prime Minister of Malaysia. The Forum also saw the attendance of Their Excellencies President Ikililou Dhoinine of Comoros, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Finance Tharman Shanmugaratnam of Singapore, Ministers from Pakistan, Qatar, the UK, Morocco, Turkmenistan and Tatarstan, the President of the Islamic Development Bank, Chairman of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front, Chief Executives of leading corporations, thought leaders and decision makers from the private and public sectors, women and young entrepreneurs as well as representatives of the creative arts.

The 8th WIEF attracted over 2,100 participants from 86 countries. Expert presentations and constructive discussions were held on key issues including the global economy, developing waqf funds, intensifying business innovation, accelerating the development of technocrats, supporting entrepreneurship and SMEs, empowering businesswomen and young entrepreneurs, advancing Islamic Banking and Finance, encouraging public and private sector partnership in disaster mitigation, seizing business opportunities in nanotechnology, promoting business and investment opportunities in ASEAN, Johor, Comoros and Mindanao, protecting the environment and enhancing leadership.

A session on Social Entrepreneurship was addressed by HRH Raja Zarith Sofiah binti Almarhum Sultan Idris Shah, consort of HRH Sultan of Johor.

A Business Networking Breakfast was organised to bring together entrepreneurs, businessmen and policy makers in eleven sectors: Technology, Infrastructure, Logistics, Islamic Banking and Finance, Oil and Gas, Healthcare, Tourism, Agriculture, Education, Halal and Green industries. These sessions proved immensely popular and generated vigorous dialogues on trade and investment opportunities across the OIC – and between Muslim and Non-Muslim economies. The dialogue Sessions led by the Islamic Chamber of Commerce, Industry and Agriculture (ICCIA), the Islamic Development Bank (IDB) and the Islamic Centre for Development of Trade (ICDT) as well as the Independent Industrialists and Businessmen’s Association of Turkey (MUSIAD) also generated discussion on international collaborations facilitated by these institutions.

The Forum recommended the adoption of the following key priorities:

  1. Promote a stable and robust financial and economic environment including strengthening domestic regulatory framework by way of structural reforms to ensure economies can compete in the future;
  2. Seek support from the Islamic Development Bank to establish an international governing body to improve the professionalism, knowledge sharing and management of zakat and waqf agencies and institutions to help alleviate poverty;
    1. Enhance capacity building through public and private sector partnership in disaster mitigation and management;
    2. Create Centres of Excellence to facilitate greater collaboration between institutions of higher learning toward the development of leadership and talent management throughout the Muslim world;
    3. Enhance focus on education with greater emphasis on vocational and technical training;
    4. Promote joint development in the nanotechnology industry between public and private research institutions;
    5. Promote international collaboration on institutions to augment and accelerate investment and innovation in the area of renewable energy development;
    6. Support and enhance the development and participation of women in entrepreneurship and business;
    7. Establish a platform of engagement with the youth for entrepreneurship, leadership and innovation through technology and social media;

Eight agreements relating to nanotechnology, property development, ICT, an innovation centre and a motorsport city amounting to RM28 billion were signed during the Forum.

The Forum recorded its appreciation to the Hon. Prime Minister and the Government of Malaysia as well as the Hon. Chief Minister and the Government of the State of Johor for co-hosting the 8th WIEF in Johor Bahru, Malaysia and for the warm hospitality accorded to all participants.

The Forum agreed to hold the 9th WIEF on 29 – 31 October 2013 in London.