16 MoUs worth US$2.43b signed at 13th Wief

This article first appeared in The Edge Financial Daily, on December 8, 2017.
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KUALA LUMPUR: The 13th World Islamic Economic Forum (Wief), held from Nov 21 to Nov 23 in Kuching, Sarawak, saw the successful signing of 16 memoranda of understanding (MoUs) that amounted to US$2.43 billion (RM9.93 billion) — the highest commercial value achieved in the history of the forum.

Wief noted the MoUs cover the technology, halal food and energy sectors, and that nine of them are with international organisations.

“Beyond their commercial value, these MoUs deliver a high impact on the global business community by creating new collaborations, opening new markets and uncovering new ways to capitalise on opportunities presented by a variety of disruptive forces shaping the world today,” it said in a statement.

“The 13th Wief was a tremendous success and is in many ways our strongest-ever edition. We intentionally focused on creating concrete opportunities and action points to truly enable businesses, countries and communities – a mission the World Islamic Economic Forum is in a unique position to deliver.

“More importantly, all the MoUs, initiatives and programmes we have put in place over the three days were aimed at creating a runway for positive action after the forum – and leading up to next year’s meet,” said Wief Foundation chairman Tun Musa Hitam.

The Wief, officiated by Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak, also Wief Foundation’s patron, attracted over 2,500 participants, including world leaders and industry players from 77 countries. It was the most diverse representation of the global community that the forum has seen to date.

The forum focused on the theme “Disruptive Change: Impact and Challenges” and comprised dialogues, panel discussions and workshops.

The inaugural Wief alumni network was also launched during the event, aiming to connect some 17,000 members on a single digital platform to facilitate seamless collaborations among them and to push the forum’s discussions into action.

“This marks the first time the World Islamic Economic Foundation is aggregating the untapped power of its global network to advance its agenda of driving co-operation between Muslim and non-Muslim nations amid disruptive change,” according to the statement.

The forum’s attendees this year were the Chief Minister of Sarawak Datuk Patinggi Dr Abang Johari Abang Openg; Head of Government of the Kingdom of Morocco Dr Saad Eddine El Othmani; Vice-President of the Union of Comoros Djaffar Ahmed Said Hassani; President of the Republic of Tatarstan of the Russian Federation Rustam Nurgaliyevich Minnikhanov; Minister of National Development Planning and Special Representative of Indonesian President Joko Widodo, Prof Bambang Permadi Soemantri Brodjonegoro; and Vice-President of Islamic Development Bank Dr Mohamed Jouini.