HIS EXCELLENCY PAK JOKO WIDODO, PRESIDENT OF THE REPUBLIC OF INDONESIA,
THE HONORABLE DATO’ SRI NAJIB TUN ABDUL RAZAK, PRIME MINISTER OF MALAYSIA,
HIS EXCELLENCY PRESIDENT OF ISLAMIC DEVELOPMENT BANK, EXCELLENCIES, PRESIDENTS, PRIME MINISTERS AND MINISTERS, LADIES AND GENTLEMEN.
As chairman of the WIEF, let me begin by welcoming and thanking you all for your presence at this 12th World Islamic Economic Forum.
We are particularly delighted to return to this dynamic city of Jakarta for the second time, more so with Indonesia starting to embark on an ambitious national development strategy that seems to attract the attention of investors both domestically and internationally.
The theme selected for this WIEF is, “Decentralising Growth, Empowering Future Business”.
While implementing growth strategies, many developing countries tend to concentrate on specific urban centres taking advantage of already existing infrastructure that facilitates obvious attractions for investments.
By so doing some negative implications become obvious. One is rural-urban migration which results in a very rapid growth of the urban population. This in turn results in tremendous pressure on all fronts leading to breakdowns on existing physical and social infrastructure. Rural areas are thus deprived of sharing opportunities for economic advancement. This obviously is not desirable in any regime wishing to develop for the good of its people.
“Empowering Future Business” simply gives recognition to all business sectors, private or public, big or small and, even micro, small and medium enterprises. Here in Indonesia the nearly 60 million MSMEs serve as the backbone of its economy, contributing hugely to both employment and the GDP.
It is with these in mind that the third day of the forum is dedicated to explore ways to improve business operations, financial access and technological options with particular attention to the MSMEs.
The three-day forum program is to ensure that all participants could take advantage of the vast opportunities available and to reap the benefits that Indonesia has to offer. As we all know, Indonesia is the 10th largest economy beside being the 10th biggest Muslim population in the world.
But, while i stoke the attractions of Indonesia, Indonesia as well would be able to tap on the vast resources and expertise of participants from more than 100 countries gathered here today at the forum.
This year’s forum continues to cater to specialised needs of the different sectors of the business community. The focus here is on major infrastructure, halal tourism, micro & SME’s, modest fashion and Islamic finance.
We have specially designed networking sessions to connect and discover new business prospects that are not previously available or even thought of. In doing so we are mindful to create as many touch points as possible.
On the marketplace of creative arts or MOCAFEST, let me say that MOCAFEST is more than just an art festival and do drop by to watch the performances. Its connectivity with and potential for business is something that is well accepted as in the case of country profiling and tourism promotion.
At different dates and venues all year around, there have always been WIEF activities. More than 20 cities of the world have hosted our events and we are thankful to them all.
I have always pleaded that “The Business of the WIEF is Business”. So, at this 12th WIEF let us give full attention and focuss on real, practical, positive, constructive and win-win collaboration.
That is what we in the WIEF is dedicated to. And with your full understanding and participation we will certainly continue to be relevant in the international stage, Insha’Allah.
Finally, let me thank you, Mr President, your government, your Ministry of Finance and all officials that have all given their full and generous support all along. To The Honorable Dato’ Sri Najib, Prime Minister of Malayisa, thank you for your continuing support that has made wief the popular and meaningful world business organisation that it is. And, not to forget His Excellencies the Presidents and Prime Ministers, thank you for your presence.
I thank you for your indulgence and wish you all a successful conference.