The 8th World Islamic Economic Forum to Focus on Global Leadership in Changing Times


Jun  7th

YABhg. Tun Musa Hitam, Chairman of the World Islamic Economic Forum (WIEF) Foundation, hosted a joint press conference with Y.A.B. Dato’ Haji Abdul Ghani Bin Othman, Chief Minister of Johor, to unveil the theme for the 8th WIEF  annual forum – Changing Trends, New Opportunities”, at a media press conference here today.

The annual Forum, organised for the 8th year, will be held on 4-6 December 2012 at Persada Johor International Convention Centre in Johor, Malaysia. The 8th Forum is a joint collaboration between the World Islamic Economic Forum Foundation and the State Government of Johor, with the strong support of the Government of Malaysia.

Tun Musa shared that the Forum is something that thought leaders, game changers, decision makers, young leaders and business entrepreneurs look forward to attending annually, especially from the Muslim world.

“Leaders these days have to be made of steel and have greater tenacity, and Asian countries have earned their stripes in weathering economic uncertainties. Our theme this year “Changing Trends, New Opportunities,” aims to stimulate thought which will result in positive and practical action, not just for country leaders and business heads, but also for the young leaders and the businesswomen network.

“The 8th WIEF has introduced some innovative changes to cater to the growing needs of the business world, including incorporating the Young Leaders Forum and the Businesswomen Forum into the main Forum programme, special luncheon talks with global personalities, a new interactive dialogue session with an international personality, focused corporate networking breakfast sessions and customised business networking sessions which truly enable the WIEF Foundation to become a leader in BUILDING BRIDGES THROUGH BUSINESS,” shared Tun Musa at the press conference.

Tun Musa added that it was significant for the 8th WIEF to be held in Johor as it is the fastest growing region in Malaysia with sizable, significant developments, which will provide tremendous opportunities for businesses and investments.

Y.A.B. Dato’ Haji Abdul Ghani, the Chief Minister of Johor conveyed his appreciation to YABhg Tun Musa Hitam for personally selecting Johor Baru as the venue for the 8th WIEF and to the Malaysian Government for agreeing to host the internationally renowned Forum in JB.

“The Johor state government is very pleased to be able to work with the WIEF Foundation to host the Forum with the Federal Government. We will provide our support and commitment, along with the respective agencies, to ensure the success of the 8th WIEF.

“Johor is the gateway to ASEAN countries; it is set to become Southern Peninsula Malaysia’s most developed region, where living, entertainment, environment and business seamlessly converge within a bustling and vibrant metropolis. The state has all the right infrastructures and supporting services to provide an ideal investment and business destination and is becoming a key regional and global business player,” said Y.A.B. Dato’ Haji Abdul Ghani.

The 8th Forum this year provides direct access and opportunities for corporate sponsors and partners to be part of the Forum, via the Investment Opportunities in Johor segment. Government ministries and Johor-based corporate entities are encouraged to be part of this segment as it enables the companies to showcase its investment opportunities to an international platform of delegates attending the Forum over the three-day programme. Potential partners and sponsors should leverage on the platform for networking prospects offered, partnership collaborations and a rare avenue to showcase to investors what Johor and Malaysia can offer, right here at their doorstep.

The Forum will cover many noteworthy topics including Global Economic Outlook- World in Flux: Leadership in Changing Times, Disaster Mitigation and Management: Role of the Private Sector, Harnessing the Waqf Fund for the Muslim Ummah, Banking on Islamic Finance: From Legality to Economic Value, Living Sustainability: Walking the Greener Side of Business, Shaping Tomorrow: Creating Leaders of the Future and The Business of Nanotech: Sizing up Opportunities.

The Global Leadership Dialogue will cover specific areas including the lingering debt crisis and the unemployment dilemma, the dynamics of global capital, Asia’s steady economic outlook and new drivers of growth. Disaster Mitigation and Management: Role of the Private Sector, seeks to explore the wide-ranging effects of global warming, regional cross-border collaborations and how the private sector especially, can play a constructive role in mitigating the situation.

The WIEF Young Leaders Forum will have sessions on areas like business start-up masterclasses – managing finance and risks and iGovt – developing a new generation of technocrats. The parallel WIEF Businesswomen Forum will cover areas including Women entrepreneurs – Catalyst for change, digital media and business – leveraging the power of social media.

The WIEF is an annual event that is currently in its eighth year and brings together world and business leaders from the Muslim and non-Muslim World to meet and network by BUILDING BRIDGES THROUGH BUSINESS. The Forum is expected to attract world leaders, industry experts and game changers who will also discuss business and economic opportunities in the region.

Registration is open to the public and interested participants are encouraged to register online early to secure a place at

The WIEF Foundation primarily focuses on enhancing the economic wellbeing of Muslim communities worldwide by increasing trade and business activities amongst them. The WIEF also promotes the Muslim World as a profitable trade and investment caucus to investors and business partners from around the globe. The WIEF is run by the World Islamic Economic Forum Foundation which has its Permanent Secretariat in Kuala Lumpur and which is headed by its Chairman Tun Musa Hitam and supported by a Board of Trustees and an International Advisory Panel.


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About the World Islamic Economic Forum (WIEF) Foundation

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.

True to its commitment to ‘BUILD BRIDGES THROUGH BUSINESS’, the WIEF Foundation also formed the WIEF Businesswomen Network (WBN), WIEF Young Leaders Network (WYN) and the WIEF Education Trust (WET) to focus on initiatives such as roundtable discussions, leadership programmes, business networking forums, and even creative arts festivals.  For more information, visit

For more information, kindly contact:

World Islamic Economic Forum Foundation 

Shabana Palpanaban (+6012-3754957) or e-mail

Essence Communication Sdn Bhd

Clara Michael Pereira (+6012-2900172) or e-mail

Jenny Austria (+6019-3083163) or e-mail

Lee Wei Yan (+6016-5992131) or e-mail

Natalie Narayanan (+6012-3258090) or e-mail Karen Teh (+6012-4481450) or e-mail FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

  1. What is the World Islamic Economic Forum (WIEF)?
    • The World Islamic Economic Forum started off with a modest beginning as the OIC Business Forum, which was held on 15 October 2003, in conjunction with the tenth OIC Summit in Putrajaya, Malaysia. The inaugural OIC Business Forum sought to create a business ‘face’ of the OIC.
    • The Forum brought together government leaders, captains of industries, academic scholars, regional experts, professionals and corporate managers to discuss opportunities for business partnerships in the Muslim World.
    • The second OIC Business Forum was convened in Kuala Lumpur in 2004, a momentous event that brought about the birth of the World Islamic Economic Forum and the subsequent convening of the 1st WIEF in Kuala Lumpur, in 2005.
    • This was an important shift that opened up the Forum to include Muslim communities beyond OIC countries and other non-Muslim communities across the globe. It was a natural evolution and was aimed at providing a platform for dialogue and exchange of cutting-edge ideas, and business networking between government and business leaders across the Muslim World and beyond.
    • The WIEF has since held six annual forums since then – ‘Unleashing the Potential of Emerging Markets’ in Islamabad, 2006; ‘Global Challenges – Innovative Partnerships’ in Kuala Lumpur, 2007; ‘Islamic Countries: Partners In The Global Development’ in Kuwait, 2008; ‘Global Food and Energy Security’ in Jakarta, 2009; ‘Gearing for Economic Resurgence’ in Kuala Lumpur, 2010; and ‘Globalising Growth: Connect, Compete, Collaborate’ in Astana, 2011 – all focused on pressing issues of the time.
  1. What are the objectives of the WIEF Forums?
    • To enhance the economic well-being of the people of Muslim nations and Muslim communities worldwide through increasing trade and business opportunities amongst them, as well as the world at large.
    • To package the Muslim World as a lucrative trade and investment caucus that is able to attract foreign investors and business partners from various countries worldwide.
    • To strengthen networking and foster strategic alliances through the exchange of ideas, information and knowledge.
    • To promote dialogue and foster cooperation among the Muslim and non-Muslim businessmen in the belief that collaboration is the salient feature of the 21st century international relations. Business partnerships can become genuine bridges towards peace and prosperity between the Muslim and non-Muslim world.
  1. What is the WIEF Foundation all about?
    • The WIEF Foundation was established on 6th March 2006 to institutionalise the World Islamic Economic Forum (WIEF).
    • The Foundation seeks to fulfil its objective of organising its annual and regional Forums and to implement the programmes established under the WIEF initiatives. This body consists of business leaders of various industries, thought leaders and heads of OIC related organisations.
    • The Foundation established its own Permanent Secretariat based in Kuala Lumpur in July 2008 and is managed by a Board of Trustees led by the Chairman of the Foundation, Tun Musa Hitam.
    • To further expand and add leverage to the Foundation, it appointed an International Advisory Panel that provides strategic input and intellectual content for the annual global and regional WIEF as well as its related initiatives.
  1. What are the other initiatives under WIEF Foundation?
    • Besides the main annual Forum, the WIEF Foundation also carries out initiatives on youth and women development through its WIEF Young Leaders Network (WYN) and WIEF Businesswomen Network (WBN).
    • The WIEF Businesswomen Network recognises women as being a very important segment of society and their economic contribution to the Muslim World, while the WIEF Young Leaders Network (WYN) is a platform for young leaders, change makers, professionals and entrepreneurs across the globe to connect ideas and explore prospects for collaboration.
    • Another initiative of the Foundation is the WIEF Education Trust, which holds a Global Discourse Series that addresses issues relating to not only business and economics but scientific and technological advancement as well. Its newest initiative is the WIEF Roundtable Series, which gathers international business and government leaders to discuss pertinent economic issues and the measures to solve them.
  1. Who is organising this Forum?
    • The World Islamic Economic Forum (WIEF) Foundation is collaborating with the State Government of Johor to organise this Forum. It is supported by the Government of Malaysia.
  1. Where will the next WIEF Forum be held?
    • The WIEF Foundation is pleased to inform that the 8th WIEF Forum will be held in Johor Bahru, Malaysia on 4-6th December 2012, at Persada Johor International Convention Centre.
  1. What is the theme for this year?
    • The theme for the 8th Forum is ‘Changing Trends, New Opportunities’.
  1. Why is WIEF organising this Forum in Johor?
    • The reason Johor was chosen for this year’s Forum is because Johor Bharu has gradually developed itself as the gateway to ASEAN countries. Johor Bahru is also set to become Southern Peninsula Malaysia’s most developed region, where living, entertainment, environment and business seamlessly converge within a bustling and vibrant metropolis.
  1. Why should sponsors be part of the Forum?
    • Johor has the geographical advantage of being strategically located adjacent to Singapore- a leading Asian hub.
    • Johor has the right infrastructure & supporting services to provide an ideal investment and business destination.
    • Johor is becoming a key regional and global business player. 
  1. Who is WIEF targeting as participants?
    • WIEF is targeting business leaders, decision makers, game changers, Small-Medium enterprises, government officials and those interested to participate in the topics of focus for this year.
  1. Why should people register for the Forum?
    • WIEF builds bridges through business and the Forum is the right avenue for it.
    • WIEF facilitates business networking and opportunities, providing the platform for cross-border collaboration.
    • For the 8th Forum, WIEF has introduced some new sessions or topics including the Breakfast Networking session, Networking Lunch, Investment Opportunities in Johor, to other aspects including Islamic Finance, Disaster Mitigation and Management and Harnessing Waqf Funds.
  2. What does WIEF hope to get out of the Forum?
    • WIEF believes that the Forum will be very relevant to countries in this region.
    • The emergence of Asia as strong economic powerhouses has provided greater opportunities for growth and collaboration within and beyond the region.
    • WIEF aims to facilitate more cooperation and partnerships with different nations, corporate entities and even government bodies.
  1. What will be the WIEF Foundation’s focus for 2012?
    • This year will prove to be an interesting year for the WIEF Foundation as we explore more initiatives entering our 8th The Foundation’s roots are still the same – BUILDING BRIDGES THROUGH BUSINESS, driving initiatives that focus on business entrepreneurs, women, youth and nurturing global leaders. However, the outreach is more extensive and the coverage is more indepth to further encourage and drive opportunities and platforms for Muslim leaders and business owners to face global challenges in an increasingly globalised world.
    • Emerging potentials offered by new markets in developing Muslim countries provide the Foundation opportunities to cater our programmes for the needs and demands of such nations.
    • Human capital development through the Foundation’s initiatives, will subsequently lead to better skilled manpower that can contribute towards economic and infrastructure development. This will enhance global competitiveness and trade among Muslim countries.
    • Innovation is another key driver that the Foundation will focus on, as we all strive to devise new solutions for the betterment of society. Innovation enables the economic value chain to be shifted to a higher level and this will also trigger new ideas that can be translated into business opportunities – from a product or strategy perspective.
    • Hence, there is a need for businesses, educational and research institutions, organisations and even governments alike, to really look into these areas as we continue to move higher up the economic value chain.
    • New growth models need to be introduced, new horizons explored and a new generation of thinkers and movers need to be created.
  1. Where is the WIEF foundation headed to?
    • The WIEF still believes that collaboration, cooperation and understanding is the key to continue building bridges towards peace and prosperity between the Muslim and non-Muslim world.
    • In light of this, the WIEF will forge new alliances for development and progress and explore opportunities for enhanced business and economic cooperation.
    • Among the potential areas to be explored include optimising intellectual and human capital in order to compete successfully in the global knowledge-economy.
    • As the public and private sectors become indivisible, public-private sector synergies will be a key avenue for expansion, as we explore how science and ICT can fuel economic development.
    • Knowledge has and will be a key driver that the Foundation will continue to advocate and encourage business and national development. There is a need to continue leveraging on knowledge and education to unlock innovation and creativity among nations.
    • As a Foundation, we are innovating our branding and strategic positioning, which has to evolve with the times in line with the globalised world. We are looking to continue making our brand relevant within the modernised Muslim World while reaching out beyond those borders in forging ahead for business and economic prosperity.

We will continue to build bridges through business.