What is the World Islamic Economic Forum (WIEF)?
The World Islamic Economic Forum started off with a modest beginning as the OIC Business Forum, which was held on 15 October 2003, in conjunction with the tenth OIC Summit in Putrajaya, Malaysia. The inaugural OIC Business Forum sought to create a business ‘face’ of the OIC.
The Forum brought together government leaders, captains of industries, academic scholars, regional experts, professionals and corporate managers to discuss opportunities for business partnerships in the Muslim World.
The second OIC Business Forum was convened in Kuala Lumpur in 2004, a momentous event that brought about the birth of the World Islamic Economic Forum and the subsequent convening of the 1stWIEF in Kuala Lumpur, in 2005.
This was an important shift that opened up the Forum to include Muslim communities beyond OIC countries and other non-Muslim communities across the globe. It was a natural evolution and was aimed at providing a platform for dialogue and exchange of cutting-edge ideas, and business networking between government and business leaders across the Muslim World and beyond.
The WIEF has since held six annual forums since then – ‘Unleashing the Potential of Emerging Markets’ in Islamabad, 2006; ‘Global Challenges - Innovative Partnerships’ in Kuala Lumpur, 2007; ‘Islamic Countries: Partners In The Global Development’ in Kuwait, 2008; ‘Global Food and Energy Security’ in Jakarta, 2009; ‘Gearing for Economic Resurgence’ in Kuala Lumpur, 2010; ‘Globalising Growth: Connect, Compete, Collaborate’ in Astana, 2011 and 'Changing Trends, New Opportunities' in Johor Bahru, 2012 – all focused on pressing issues of the time.
What are the objectives of the WIEF Forums?
The objectives of the Forum are:
What is the WIEF Foundation all about?
The WIEF Foundation was established on 6 March 2006 to institutionalise the World Islamic Economic Forum. The Foundation seeks to fulfil its objective of organising its annual and regional Forums and to implement the programmes established under the WIEF initiatives. This body consists of business leaders of various industries, thought leaders and heads of OIC related organisations.
The Foundation established its own Permanent Secretariat based in Kuala Lumpur in July 2008 and is managed by a Board of Trustees led by the Chairman of the Foundation, Tun Musa Hitam. To further expand and add leverage to the Foundation, it appointed an International Advisory Panel that provides strategic input and intellectual content for the annual global and regional WIEF,in addition to its related initiatives.
What are the other initiatives under WIEF Foundation?
Besides the main annual Forum, the WIEF Foundation also carries out initiatives on youth and women development through its WIEF Young Leaders Network (WYN) and WIEF Businesswomen Network (WBN).The WIEF Businesswomen Networkrecognises women as being a very important segment of society and their economic contribution to the Muslim World, while the WIEF Young Leaders Network (WYN) is a platform for young leaders, change makers, professionals and entrepreneurs across the globe to connect ideas and explore prospects for collaboration. Another initiative of the Foundation is the WIEF Education Trust, which holds a Global Discourse Series that addresses issues relating to not only business and economics but scientific and technological advancement as well. Its newest initiative is the WIEF Roundtable Series, which gathers international business and government leaders to discuss pertinent economic issues and the measures to solve them.
Where will the next WIEF Forum be held?
The WIEF Foundation is pleased to inform that the 9th WIEF Forum will be held in London, United Kingdom on 29-31st October 2013, at ExCel London.
There are plenty of reasons why London is GREAT
World capital of business: London is the world capital of business and Europe's business powerhouse, providing global sector strengths, talent and connectivity.
Access to markets: London is the gateway to the European Union's 27 member states, the biggest single market in the world, with a population of nearly 500 million.
Globally renowned international stock exchange: the London Stock Exchange is the leading global exchange in the world, ahead of Hong Kong and New York.
Ideal location for global HQs: London has attracted three times more European headquarters than any other city since 2003 – you will be in good company in London.
Europe's fastest growing tech cluster: with an entrepreneurial spirit and a start-up ecosystem which is ranked 2nd in Europe - London is THE place for tech companies.
A city of great talent and expertise: Home to Europe's largest regional workforce and boasting Europe's most diverse talent pool with 40% of London's 4 million strong workforce being born abroad, London gives ambitious companies access to a great wealth of talent and expertise.
Skills, technology & sustainability: The London Olympic and Paralympic Games in 2012 raised the bar in terms of skills, technology, sustainability and knowledge.
East London regeneration: London also witnessed the incredible regeneration of east London on the back of the Games, with world class facilities and a new urban park created.
The London shopping experience: London has the highest presence of international retailers across Europe, making it the destination of choice for savvy shoppers.
A cultural centre: Around 78% of overseas visitors say London's cultural heritage, museums and galleries are one of the main reasons for visiting London
Where is the WIEF foundation headed to?
The WIEF still believes that collaboration, cooperation and understanding is the key to continue building bridges towards peace and prosperity between the Muslim and non-Muslim world.
In light of this, the WIEF will forge new alliances for development and progress and explore opportunities for enhanced business and economic cooperation.
Among the potential areas to be explored include optimising intellectual and human capital in order to compete successfully in the global knowledge-economy.
As the public and private sectors become indivisible, public-private sector synergies will be a key avenue for expansion, as we explore how science and ICT can fuel economic development.
Knowledge has and will be a key driver that the Foundation will continue to advocate and encourage business and national development. There is a need to continue leveraging on knowledge and education to unlock innovation and creativity among nations.
As a Foundation, we are innovating our branding and strategic positioning, which has to evolve with the times in line with the globalised world. We are looking to continue making our brand relevant within the modernised Muslim World while reaching out beyond those borders in forging ahead for business and economic prosperity.
We will continue to build bridges through business.