Priority at 11th World Islamic Economic Forum to Encourage Businesses to Pursue Opportunities Beyond Traditional Economies and Sectors


Oct  19th

Singapore, 19 October 2015 – The World Islamic Economic Forum (WIEF) Foundation today unveiled a list of 21 Heads of State, personalities and attending ministers who will be attending the 11th WIEF, themed “Building Resilience for Equitable Growth”, which will take place in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, from 3rd to 5th November 2015. They will share more on the potential businesses can explore in their countries as well as opportunities for collaboration to achieve sustainable and equitable growth in Muslim and non-Muslim economies.

They include:

Heads of State
The Hon. Dato’ Sri Mohd Najib Tun Abdul Razak, Prime Minister of Malaysia & Patron, WIEF Foundation
H.E. John Dramani Mahama, President, Republic of Ghana
H.E. Dragan Čović, Chairman of the Presidency, Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina
H.E. Abdelilah Benkirane, Prime Minister, Morocco
H.E. Jusuf Kalla, Vice President, Republic of Indonesia
H.E. Yaqub Eyyubov, Deputy Prime Minister, Republic of Azerbaijan
H.E. Dr Ahmad Mohamed Ali, President, Islamic Development Bank

H.R.H. Sultan Dr. Nazrin Muizzuddin Shah Ibni Almarhum Sultan Azlan Muhibbuddin Shah Al-Maghfur-Lah, Sultan of the State of Perak Darul Ridzuan
H.E. Dr Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono, Former President, Republic of Indonesia
H.E. Sheikh Hamad bin Jassim bin Jabr Al-Thani, Former Prime Minister, The State of Qatar
Attending Ministers

YAB Dato’ Seri Dr. Ahmad Zahid Hamidi, Deputy Prime Minister, Malaysia
YB Dato’ Sri Mustapa Mohamad, Minister of International Trade and Industry, Malaysia
H.E. Mohamed Saeed, Minister of Economic Development & Special Envoy of the President, Maldives
H.E. Sun Chanthol, Senior Minister and Minister of Commerce, Cambodia
H.E. Othsman Hassan, Minister in the Prime Minister’s Office, Cambodia
H.E. Seth Terkper, Minister of Finance and Economic Planning, Ghana
H.E. Anne Waiguru, Cabinet Secretary for Devolution and Planning, Kenya
The Rt. Hon. Lord Tariq Ahmad of Wimbledon, Parliamentary Under Secretary of State, The United Kingdom
H.E. Mustafa Kamal, Minister of Planning, Bangladesh
H.E. Mike Mabuyakhulu, Minister of Economic Development for the Province of KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa
Liban Soleman, Deputy Chief of Staff of the President of the Gabonese Republic
Attending leaders will officially open the 11th WIEF on Tuesday, 3rd November, and they will also deliver special addresses bringing to fore the opportunities nations, large corporations, Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) and entrepreneurs can explore for sustainable growth.

The Hon. Tun Musa Hitam, Chairman of the WIEF Foundation, said, “The impact of China’s slowdown has reverberated across the world with nations and businesses alike seeking ways to mitigate the impact of this. Yet, many are not aware of or willing to pursue opportunities in new markets which present immense growth opportunities. The 11th World Islamic Economic Forum, with our international list of Heads of States, leaders and speakers, will bring to the fore opportunities in dynamic economies and thriving industries which may otherwise have been overlooked.”

“In addition, the Forum’s programme includes numerous activities which encourage delegates to network, connect and explore opportunities for collaborations. Our aim is simple – Building Bridges through Business to drive economic and social progress,” he added.

Beyond looking at dynamic fast-growing economies, the stimulating discussions, plenary sessions, one-to-one meetings and networking opportunities at the 11th WIEF encourage businesses to also explore different industries and segments for growth. The close to two billion Muslim consumers in the world and expectation that growth in total value of Muslim consumers’ contribution to the global digital economy will outweigh the growth of the total global digital economy[1] suggests opportunities for businesses all over the world to target the Muslim market.

The 11th WIEF will also see the introduction of the ‘SME Business Pavilion’, in support of the SME community in Southeast Asia to uncover growth prospects. The ‘SME Business Pavilion’ provides a platform for business owners to foster cross-border collaborations and increase their competitiveness in the international marketplace.

Set to welcome more than 2,500 delegates representing more than 100 Muslim and non-Muslim countries, the 11th WIEF returns to Kuala Lumpur in Malaysia just as the region prepares for the regional integration opportunities that the upcoming ASEAN Economic Community (AEC) promises. The establishment of the AEC is in tandem with the goals of WIEF as it continues to promote Islamic finance as an economic model that encourages sustainable development, bringing stability and prosperity to global economy.

The forum has gained attention with the leading companies from major Islamic economies. Some of these companies, including Maybank Islamic Berhad and Khazanah Nasional Berhad, have come on board to sponsor and play a part in this annual gathering of world leaders, top CEOs, experts, academics, entrepreneurs and businessmen from the global economic arena.

Leading international and local media partners including Bloomberg TV Malaysia, CNBC, The Financial Times, The Economist and Thomson Reuters will be delivering comprehensive business insights and bringing up-to-date news coverage of the interactive and thought-provoking activities held during the three-day event.

The three-day Forum will cover cutting-edge topics in the Muslim world including Islamic finance, halal industries, green technologies, education, sustainable living and development, women and youth development, and the Creative Arts.

Some of the international speakers include Janez Potočnik, co-chair of the International Resource Panel (IRP), United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), Dr Anwar Ghani, President of the Federation of Islamic Associations of New Zealand (FIANZ) & Chairman of Halal Advisory Council, New Zealand and Tan Sri Jemilah Mahmood, Chief, World Humanitarian Summit Secretariat, United State of America, amongst the international speakers and role-players at the forum.

The World Islamic Economic Forum is the largest international gathering of heads of government, economic experts and stakeholders to share experiences and knowledge about Islamic economy since its launch in 2004.

[1] ‘Digital might of Muslim consumer: Spending to grow fastest by 2020’ (September 15, 2015) Emirates 24/7. Available at: