Kazakhstan confident the 7th World Islamic Economic Forum (WIEF) will spur global investment interest
Forum gathers world leaders and industry experts in Astana to discuss socio-economic collaborations between muslim and non-muslim communities
Astana, 23 March 2011 – Kazakhstan is confident that the 7th World Islamic Economic Forum (WIEF) will spur investments into its fast-expanding economy. To be held from 7-9 June 2011 at the Palace of Independence, Astana, Kazakhstan, the forum this year carries the theme ‘Globalizing Growth: Connect, Compete, Collaborate’, promoting cross border partnerships between the Central Asian nation and the rest of the world, in particular, other Muslim nations.
This was expressed by the Prime Minister of the Republic of Kazakhstan, His Excellency Karim Massimov at a meeting to welcome the Chairman of the World Islamic Economic Forum, the Honorable Tun Musa Hitam in conjunction with the convening of the 7th WIEF in Kazakhstan. Tun Musa had earlier met with the Deputy Prime Minister of the Republic of Kazakhstan, His Excellency Aset Issekeshev, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Industry and New Technologies, in the latter’s capacity as the Organising Chairman of the 7th WIEF to inspect and lend support to the preparations being made to host this much anticipated business event in the Muslim world.
“We are working very hard with the Government of Kazakhstan to ensure all preparations are on schedule to host the 7th edition of this international Forum. I would like to express my appreciation to the leadership for committing full support to make this Forum a success, especially within the current context impacting the muslim diaspora,” said Tun Musa.
This year’s forum seeks to highlight the vast investment opportunities available in Kazakhstan as it seeks to develop key areas of its economy with a particular focus on contributing to the crucial global need for energy and food security. With a land size equal to Western Europe and a population of 16million, Kazakhstan is the 9th largest country in the world recording a GDP of USD 182 billion. It is rich in minerals, in particular uranium, of which the country is the world’s leading exporter. With proven reserves, it also has the capacity to be the 10th largest oil and gas producing country in the world by 2015.
Mr. Massimov added, “The 7th WIEF in Kazakhstan has extended the reach of the WIEF into the CIS region and will have huge implications on business dynamics in this part of the world. The WIEF has been an effective bridge for business wherever it has been held over the past 6 years in Southeast Asia, East Asia and the Middle East. It is most timely that the bridge has now come to Central Asia.”
As part of its strategic 2020 economic plan, Kazakhstan is slowly phasing out its dependence on these heavy duty industries and is making giant strides in investing the profits from these lucrative industries into other sustainable industries particularly manufacturing.
According Mr. Issekeshev, “The 7th WIEF provides us with a platform to engage investors in the Middle East and the rest of the world with our Strategic 2020 initiative to diversify our economy. We are confident this event can provide our country with a suitable platform and a perfect gateway for not only Middle East sovereign funds, but also to capture the migration of capital to the East since the global financial crisis of recent years.”
Topics of discussion at the WIEF will include prospects for the expansion of the Halal food industry, Islamic banking, the future of alternative energy, empowering SMEs and introduction of innovative technologies, the increasing role of SMEs and social entrepreneurship. The Forum is expected to attract key Heads of State and Government to address their economic agenda, together with more than 2000 business leaders from around the world.