11th WIEF in Malaysia to Focus on Greater Collaboration for Equitable and Sustainable Growth for Global Economies


Jun  10th

Kuala Lumpur, 10 June 2015 – The 11th World Islamic Economic Forum (WIEF) expects more than 2,500 delegates representing more than 100 Muslim and non-Muslim countries to convene in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia from 3rd to 5th November 2015.

Themed “Building Resilience for Equitable Growth”, the 11th WIEF aims to further its mission in facilitating economic development towards sustainable and equitable growth between Muslim and non-Muslim economies. The forum returns to Malaysia in Kuala Lumpur this year, timely in the lead up to ASEAN integration and the potential for accelerated growth opportunities in Southeast Asia, which is also home to some of the most populous Muslim communities in the world.

Chairman of the WIEF Foundation, the Honourable Tun Musa Hitam, said, “In the face of volatility in the global economy, we must look towards more sustainable economic models that support equitable growth. The Islamic economy has gained recognition as one such model, proven to be more resilient with underlying principles of being ethical and inclusive. Like the European Union which facilitates tremendous opportunities across borders in Europe, the ASEAN Economic Community will drive unprecedented expansion and growth for the Islamic economy in this region.”

“With this as the backdrop, the theme of the 11th WIEF fits in well with the special emphasis given to the development of SMEs. SMEs in particular will reap the benefits of cross-border partnerships, being able to transform their business and grow their reach across the region. We hope that the “SME Business Pavilion” at the Forum will be useful in providing valuable insights and technical assistance to support SMEs in the lead up to ASEAN integration. It is encouraging to see not only Muslim countries but also non-Muslim countries attracted to the benefits of developing the Islamic economy and we will continue to build on the dialogues and business networks to further uncover equitable growth and investment opportunities in the Islamic world,” Tun Musa added.

Minister for International Trade and Industry, Malaysia, Dato’ Sri Mustapa Mohamed said, “MITI and the Government of Malaysia support the approach taken by the WIEF Foundation in contributing to the development of the Islamic economy considering the significant benefits to be derived. With the ASEAN Economic Community coming into effect this year, I believe, ASEAN integration is poised to boost trade and business growth across the region of benefit to SMEs. While the future for ASEAN looks promising, the single biggest market in the world remains untapped. There is therefore a huge potential for SMEs to take advantage of the potential of the development of the halal economy not only within the Muslim world but also the non-Muslim world.”

With global Muslim consumer expenditure expected to increase to US$2.47 trillion by 2018 and the current Islamic finance market standing at an estimated US$1.35 trillion in assets[1], there are compelling reasons to collaborate for growth. This is evident with the growing number of non-Muslim economies such as London, Luxembourg, Hong Kong and South Africa tapping on the Islamic finance sector and developing Islamic finance hubs. Global Islamic spending on outbound tourism stood at US$140 billion in 2013 [excluding Hajj and Umrah], representing 12 per cent of the world’s tourism market1.

Growth sectors in the Islamic economy include Islamic finance and the Halal food and lifestyle industry. The seven sector clusters to be discussed at the 11th WIEF are Finance, Halal, Technology, Education, Sustainable Living, Women & Youth and Creative Arts. For the first time this year, the forum programme is categorised by sector clusters to streamline and facilitate dialogues, participation and ideation through panel discussions, Ideapad and Masterclass sessions focused on a specific sector.

Some of the topics specifically that will be covered include, ‘Islamic Finance for Green Technologies’, ‘Developing a Halal Ecosystem in New Markets’, ‘Achieving Equitable Growth in ASEAN’s Urban and Rural Areas’ and ‘Empowering Rural Women Entrepreneurs’.

Initial response to the 11th WIEF has been positive. Governmental and business leaders who will convene at the 11th WIEF include: The Honourable Dato’ Sri Mohammad Najib Tun Abdul Razak, the Prime Minister of Malaysia, The Honourable John Dramani Mahama, President of Ghana, The Honourable Abdulla Yameen, President of the Maldives, His Excellency Dr Ahmad Mohamed Ali, President of Islamic Development Bank, DYMM Sultan Dr. Nazrin Muizzuddin Shah ibni Almarhum Sultan Azlan Muhibbuddin Shah Al-Maghfullah, Sultan Perak Darul Ridzuan, Malaysia, Dato’ Sri Mustapa Mohamed, Minister of Trade and Industry of Malaysia, The Honourable Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono, Former President of Indonesia, The Honourable Tun Abdullah bin Haji Ahmad Badawi, Former Prime Minister of Malaysia, Tan Sri Rafidah Aziz, Former Minister of International Trade and Industry, Malaysia, Veronique SalzeLozaih, Chief Economist & Senior Director (Economic Development), The Asia Foundation, Kingdom of Thailand, Professor Cedomir Nestorovic, Teaching Professor, Management Department, ESSEC Asian Center, Republic of Singapore, Pacita Juan, President, Women’s Business Council of Philippines, Republic of the Philippines, Dato’ Dr Mohd Nazlee Kamal, Chief Executive Officer, Malaysian Biotechnology Corporation (BiotechCorp), and Tan Sri Jemilah Mahmood, Chief, World Humanitarian Summit Secretariat, United State of America. Represented countries include Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand, the Philippines, United Arab Emirates, India, Ghana, South Africa and the United States of America – to name a few.

The 11th WIEF SME Business Pavilion is a key highlight of the forum, in support of the SME community in Southeast Asia to uncover growth prospects. It is a platform for business owners to foster cross-border collaborations and increase their competitiveness in the international marketplace.

The forum will also include the MOCAfest, or Marketplace of Creative Arts, a festival bringing together creative artists in Southeast Asia and their creative counterparts from various regions in the Middle East, Africa, America and Europe. The Festival will host up to 30 artists from over

State of Global Islamic Economy Report, Thomson Reuters

20 countries, including training programmes and dialogues around sustainability in the creative arts industries.

The 11th WIEF is organised by the WIEF Foundation and hosted by the Government of Malaysia. Organisations in partnership with the 11th WIEF include the Islamic Development Bank (IDB), Maybank Islamic, Qatar Financial Centre, SME Corp, Finance Accreditation Agency and Ogilvy Public Relations, Bloomberg TV, CNBC, Financial Times, The Economist, Aswaq, The European, International Investor, The Malaysian Reserve, OIC Today, Oxford Business Group, Voices of Leaders and The WorldFolio.

WIEF has seen a steady growth in delegate attendance, increasing more than 450% since the 1st WIEF in 2005. Memorandums of Understanding (MoUs) and partnerships have been inked annually, signifying the growing interest from global businesses and economies working towards a single objective of sustainable and equitable growth.

The forum has previously been held in global cities including Islamabad, Kuwait City, Jakarta, Astana, London and most recently, in Dubai last year.

About the World Islamic Economic Forum (WIEF)

The WIEF Foundation, a not-for-profit organisation based in Kuala Lumpur, organises the annual World Islamic Economic Forum, a world-class business platform showcasing business opportunities in the Muslim world, and runs programmes of the various initiatives of the Foundation that strengthen people partnership and knowledge exchange between Muslim and non-Muslim communities across the globe.

The WIEF has previously held forums in Malaysia, Kazakhstan, Indonesia, Kuwait and
Pakistan, the United Kingdom and United Arab Emirates and aims to bring together Muslim and non-Muslim communities through the common language of business.

The 11th WIEF will be held at the Kuala Lumpur Convention Centre from November 3 – 5, 2015.

For media queries, kindly contact:

Shabana shabana@wief.org or +6012 375 4957
Joanne Goh goh@ogilvy.com or +65 6213 7848

Anticipated Role Players at the 3 Day Forum and Complimentary Programmes

269 Role players

Including 5 Global Leaders, 55 Panelists, 24 Masterclass Speakers, 30 Artists, 12 Special Programmes Speakers, 24 Sponsor Programmes Speakers, 24 Invest Programmes Speakers, 40 Ideapad Presenters, 56 Business Exchange Presenters

15 confirmed Role Players to date:

Islamic Finance for Green Technologies (Panel discussion):

  • Sean Kidney, CEO and Co-founder, Climate Bonds, United Kingdom

Developing a Halal Ecosystem in New Markets (Panel discussion):

  • Cedomir Nestorovic, Teaching Professor, Management Department, ESSEC Asian Center, Republic of Singapore
  • Abdalhamid Evans, HalalFocus and Conference Director, World Halal Summit, Malaysia (Moderator)

Achieving Equitable Growth in ASEAN’s Urban and Rural Areas (Panel discussion):

  • Tan Sri Rafidah Aziz, Former Minister of International Trade and Industry, Malaysia

Empowering Rural Women Entrepreneurs (Panel discussion):

  • Veronique SalzeLozaih, Chief Economist & Senior Director, Economic Development, The Asia Foundation, Kingdom of Thailand
  • Pacita Juan, President, Women’s Business Council of Philippines, Republic of the Philippines

Islamic Fashion Industry: New Trends, New Markets (Panel discussion):

  • Alia Khan, Founder, Islamic Fashion Design Council, United Arab Emirates (Moderator)

Youth Startups, Future Markets and Social Profits (Panel discussion):

  • Sangu Delle, Founder and Chief Executive Officer, Golden Palm Investments, Republic of Ghana
  • Muhammed Fazeel, Founder, Benecure, United States of America
  • Osama Manzar, Founder & Director, Digital Empowerment Foundation, Republic of India

Biotech Startups and Their Role in Bioeconomy (Panel discussion):

  • Dato’ Dr Mohd Nazlee Kamal, Chief Executive Officer, Malaysian Biotechnology Corporation (BiotechCorp)

Creating a Circular Economy with Zero-Waste Technologies (Masterclass):

  • Muna Lakhani, Founder, Institute for Zero Waste in Africa, Republic of South Africa

Building a Globally Recognised Halal Certification Standard (Masterclass):

  • Dr Anwar Ghani, President of FIANZ & Chairman of Halal Advisory Council, New Zealand

Islamic Social Financing and the Future of Humanitarian Projects (Masterclass):

  • Tan Sri Jemilah Mahmood, Chief, World Humanitarian Summit Secretariat, United State of America

Face to Face: Conversation with a Personality:

  • E. Dr Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono, Chair of the Council, Global Green Growth Institute, Republic of Indonesia

The sessions

93 Sessions

SME Business Pavilion and 7 Clusters (Finance, Halal, Technology, Education, Sustainable Living, Women & Youth and Creative Arts)
6 Plenary Sessions (Day 1 (1 session), Day 3 (5 sessions))
10 Panel Sessions (Day 1 (2 sessions), Day 2 (8 sessions))
11 Masterclass Sessions
6 Ideapad Sessions
11 Business Exchange Sessions
25 MOCAfest Sessions
6 Special Programmes
12 Sponsor Programmes
6 Country Invest Programmes