Embracing Change and Utilising Diversity to Enhance Cooperation and Grow the Global Islamic Economy
KUALA LUMPUR, 05 SEPTEMBER 2019 – In the presence of government officials, prominent business leaders, renowned community leaders, academicians and influencers from Malaysia and many other countries, the Opening Ceremony of the 9th Muslim World Business and Investment Zone and the presentation of the Jewels of the Muslim World Award take place at Kuala Lumpur Convention Centre with the theme “Spearheading Sustainable Economic Growth.”
The Guest of Honour to officiate the 9th Muslim World Biz is Yang Berhormat Datuk Seri Saifuddin Nasution Bin Ismail, Minister of Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs. In his keynote address, Y.B. Datuk Seri Saifuddin emphasised the need to organise events like the Muslim World Biz to strengthen the economic ties between Islamic countries. “This event facilitates the ability to collaborate with the right partners,” he said.
The Honourable Minister reiterated the government’s commitment to enhance its leading position among the OIC member countries. “In Malaysia, we have successfully established and developed infrastructure that is conducive for ecnmomic growth based on enhancing human capital and attracting foreign direct investment… and we are ready to help our brothers and sisters in other Islamic countries,” Y.B. Datuk Seri Saifuddin explained.
The Muslim World Biz is organised for the ninth time with the objective of exploring possible methods of cooperation between businesses from the various OIC member countries. The annual event grew exponentially since 2010 and today it consists of a multisectoral trade exhibition, nine specialised conferences and three prestigious award ceremonies.
The Muslim World Biz is organised by the OIC International Business Centre, in collaboration with the Islamic Centre for Development of Trade (ICDT) in Morocco, a subsidiary organ of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) in Saudi Arabia. The event is ultimately supported by the Government of Malaysia and its various agencies, especially Malaysia External Trade Development Corporation (MATRADE).
Welcoming the invited guests and participatns, the Chairman of the 9th Muslim World Biz, Mr Muhammed Raja Talib bin Dato’ Dr Raja Mohamed Abdullah, showed gratefulness to the Government of Malaysia for supporting the annual trade event. He also thanked all the sponsors and partners for their invaluable contributions to the success of organising the event this year. He also acknowledged the speakers of various conferences for enriching the discussions with insightful thoughts and experiences.
“This event holds a significant promise to contribute towards the socio-economic development of Muslim communities. A well-developed Muslim community will change the negative perception of Muslims, which is associated with poverty, underdevelopment and even terrorism,” mentioned Mr Talib. With a population exceeding 1.8 billion, the Muslim world represents a huge market for trade and flow of investment, he added.
Representing H.E. Dr El Hassane Hzaine, Director-General of the Islamic Centre for Development of Trade, Mr Mamoudou Bucar Sall spoke about the ICDT’s work, as a subsidiary of the OIC, to strengthen the economic relations between the Islamic countries. He also thanked the OIC International Business Centre for the determination in organising the Muslim World Biz every year, recognising Malaysia’s role as one of the best performing OIC member countries at all fronts.
During the ceremony, the Jewels of the Muslim World Award was presented by the Guest of Honour. This year, the award is presented to six prominent leaders from Malaysia, the Kingdom of Morocco, the Islamic Republic of Iran, the Republic of Algeria and India. Between 2011 and 2019, a total of 65 winners received the award from more than 40 countries. Their contributions have been remarkable to the growth of various industries. The award is honoured by the business and investment magazine, OIC TODAY.
Earlier in the morning, the activities of the Muslim World Women’s Summit were officially launched with the theme “A New Era of Women’s Rights.” In her opening remarks, Dr Laila Rani binti Dato’ Dr Raja Mohamad Abdullah, Chairman of the Muslim World Rania Award, said that “the programme of this year’s Muslim World Women’s Summit includes topics to discuss women’s role as organizational leaders in the 21st century, and how they can break the glass ceiling and use their real potential.”
The exhibition halls opened their doors yesterday to exhibitors, trade buyers and public visitors. The participants have shown satisfaction with the organisation of the exhibition to fulfil their goals of attracting investment in their businesses, finding international distributors, connecting with more efficient suppliers and creating wider awareness of their brands. The organisers expect participants from more than 40 countries over the 3-day event.
The industries participating in this year’s exhibition zone include food and beverages, banking and finance, trade and investment, healthcare and lifestyle, manufacturing, fashion and cosmetics, automotive, and textile. The profile of exhibitors includes organisations from Southeast Asia, the Middle East, Africa, and Central Asia. However, Malaysian organisations represent around 60 per cent of the total number of exhibitors.
Two other programmes started yesterday. First, the Round Table Talk, which is continuing today as a global leadership conference. The second programme is the OIC Arab-Asia Trade & Economic Forum, whose activities concluded on the same day after producing great ideas and suggestion to formulate action plans to boost intra-OIC trade activities.