YB DATO ZAKIYUDIN’S WELCOMING SPEECH AT OPENING CEREMONY OF WIEF ROUNDTABLE
27 September 2022 | SPICE Convention Centre
- Tuan Yang Terutama Tun Dato Seri Utama Ahmad Fuzi bin Haji Abdul Razak, Governor of the State of Penang
- YB Dato’ Abdul Halim Hussain, Penang State Exco for Trade, Industry and Entrepreneurship Development and Chairman, Penang Halal International
- Tan Sri Dr. Syed Hamid bin Syed Jaafar Albar, Chairman of the WIEF Foundation
- Tun Musa Hitam, Chairman of WIEF International Advisory Panel
Tan Sri2, Dato Sri2, Dato2
Honourable EXCOs and Heads of Government Agencies
Ladies and Gentlemen
Assalamualaikum and a very good morning to all of you.
It is my great honour to address you in this auspicious event, the WIEF Roundtable of the World Islamic Economic Forum Foundation, which has set foot in Penang, after years of traversing across the globe. The WIEF Roundtable comes at a very opportune time in Penang, as we are facing very challenging circumstances globally. As we can see from the theme and topics, it is important that we focus on economic rebound and the steps forward to secure a better future.
As we all know, the world is facing the threat of a global recession with the US increasing interest rates 5 times this year. This is by far the sharpest monetary tightening that the US Federal Reserve is implementing since the 1980s. And the Fed’s interest rates are expected to reach 4.4% by the end of this year, which might peak to around 5% by next year. All this is to combat inflation which peaked at 9.1% in June this year, and they vowed to bring it down to 2%. As we can see, this is so far away from the target, which explains the radical rate hikes.
Therefore, this will undoubtedly have significant repercussions around the world. In the US, the rate hike will mean tens of thousands of jobs will be destroyed, bringing down economic and investment activities drastically. Globally, to respond to the surging American dollar, central banks around the world are forced to increase their rates too, to neutralize the net loss from imports using US dollars. This means job losses and economic slowdown too.
This is the situation we are facing today. With the food and energy crises, climate change, technological disruptions and many other challenges, we are at a very important crossroad in the survival of our global economy.
Our only hope is that we can still grow our economies given these tightening conditions, and that would determine whether we will slip into global recession or not. This is the reason why, the topics chosen at the WIEF Roundtable is important for us to tackle these important issues head on. Only by addressing these challenges together, can we coordinate better responses to these global problems. The Islamic economy is an important component of the global economy and therefore, what we do here has global ramifications on the outcome of our future together.
No organization can bring these discourses better than the WIEF Foundation, who has been instrumental in bringing up the Islamic global discourse for almost 20 years since its inception in 2003. Covering all the important topics such as Halal, Islamic Finance, Waqf and many more, WIEF Foundation has created vast networks across continents to focus on the Islamic economy as a central pillar of the global economic framework.
We in the state of Penang welcome you to make Penang an Islamic economy hub for the region. With a stellar 50 years in industrial excellence, and a very strong business ecosystem, Penang is well-positioned to become an important player in developing some of the most important sectors such as the Islamic digital economy, Halal, Islamic finance and many others. We invite you to talk to us and collaborate with us for a better future together.
Assalamualaikum and thank you.