Dinner Speech by President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono at a Dinner for the 5th World Islamic Economic Forum Delegates


Mar  2nd

Assalamualaikum Warrahmatullahi Wabarakatuh,

Your Highness, Excellencies, Distinguished Delegates, Ladies & Gentlemen

I am delighted to once again welcome all of you, this time for an entirely different purpose. For tonight is all about relaxing, good conversation, and enjoying ourselves.

I am very pleased that today we had a very constructive and enlightening conference. We were honored to hear the views and thoughts from important Islamic leaders and business leaders, on a wide range of issues that mattered to the ummah : the global economy, food security, energy security, trade, investment and others.

We are also heartened to see the signing of several Memorandum of Agreements worth approximately USD $ 3, 1 billion.
I think we all agreed that the world will not be an easy place for us in the short term. But I think we also shared the view that all these challenges are not insurmountable: indeed, they are manageable and resolvable so long as we are relentless in our determination to meet them.

Indonesia is honored to be the host of this year’s World Islamic Economic Forum. I have always been supportive of this Forum, both as a progressive Muslim and as patron of the WIEF national committee.

I have always believed that what we seek to achieve through the WIEF is more than just economic cooperation. What we aspire is to promote greater friendship, brotherhood and solidarity among Muslims, and between nations. We want to see the ummah becoming enlightened and empowered to address 21st century challenges.

For the the 21st century will be an era unlike any other era before. The 20th century was known as the century of hard power; the 21st century we hope is the century of soft power. The 21st century will be driven by openness, technology, connectivity, dialog, and integration. It will be the age of possibility and opportunity.

That is why the WIEF is relevant because it helps the ummah adapt to that wondrous world. The ummah can shape and have full ownership of the 21st century.

But first we must make the ummah a stake-holder, and we must empower them. The ummah can once again become a key driver of globalization, just the way we were the world’s first globalizers in the 13th century. Only by embracing excellence and innovation, can the ummah, after centuries of marginalization, make that great leap forward in this amazing century. Let us begin now.

I leave you with that food for thought.
Once again, thank you for coming, and enjoy your dinner.

Assalamualaikum Warahmatullahi Wabarakatuh