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Prime Minister of Malaysia Brings World Islamic Economic Forum to London

July 5, 2013 Destination ASEAN No Comments Email Email

The Prime Minister of Malaysia, the Honourable Dato’ Sri Mohd Najib Tun Abdul Razak, the Mayor of London, Boris Johnson, and Lord Green, Minister for Trade and Investment, will today launch the 9th World Islamic Economic Forum.

The forthcoming Forum, entitled ‘Changing World, New Relationships’, will be held at ExCeL London later this year – the first time the event will meet outside the Muslim world.

More than 1,500 government leaders, captains of industries, academic scholars, regional experts, professionals and corporate managers from 100 countries will come together at the 9th World Islamic Economic Forum in October to boost trade partnerships between Islamic and European markets, and explore London’s future as a global hub for Islamic Finance.

43738-300x169London & Partners, the official promotional organisation for the capital, has worked to bring WIEF here, building a business case, helping plan the event, securing key delivery partners, opening up the city and galvanising national and city resources. London & Partners will now be working with WIEF and national government departments to encourage and facilitate international business trade, investment and collaboration around the forum, as well as growing London’s position as the pre-eminent world city for dialogue and trade.

Speakers from the world of politics will include the British Prime Minister, the Right Honourable David Cameron MP, the Prime Minister of Malaysia, the Honourable Dato’ Sri Mohd Najib Tun Abdul Razak, the Mayor of London, Boris Johnson, the Governor of the Bank Negara Malaysia, Tan Sri Dato’ Sri Dr. Zeti Akhtar Aziz, President of the Islamic Development Bank, H.E. Dr Ahmed Mohamed Ali, the Malaysian Minister for International Trade and Industry, Dato Sri Mustapa bin Mohamed, Minister of State at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, Baroness Warsi, Minister for Trade and Investment, Lord Green, Financial Secretary to the Treasury, Greg Clark, and Minister of State for International Development, Alan Duncan.

Leaders from banks, infrastructure, technology, design and media companies from countries including China, UAE, Malaysia, USA, UK, South Africa, Japan, and Indonesia, as well as health and education experts will take part. Organisations represented include Islamic Development Bank, the Aga Khan Development Network, Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank, World Health Organisation, Thomson Reuters, Halal Food Festival, Saudi Economic and Development Company (SEDCO), JS Comsa Corporation, Japan and BDA China, with strong support from Malaysian based corporations Khazanah Nasional, Maybank Islamic Berhad and Bank Negara Malaysia.

The Forum aims to deliver tangible investment. At last year’s 8th WIEF, deals worth an estimated RM28 billion (£5.8billion) were struck.

The WIEF’s meeting in London comes alongside the recent acquisition of the iconic Battersea Power Station site. The £400m Malaysian consortium investment is the largest of its kind in the UK. With a development value of around £8bn, it is expected to create 15,000 new jobs and 3,500 new homes.

The Islamic Finance sector is estimated to be worth £1.2 trillion, and is expected to grow to £1.6 trillion by 2015 (source: Ernst & Young). Islamic nations account for nearly 25% of the world’s total population. London will seek to extend its role as a western hub for Islamic finance, building on the £22.3 billion that has been raised to date (source: London Stock Exchange), by promoting its status as the leading exporter of financial services across the world.

Issues covered at the Forum will include harnessing the potential of women as critical growth drivers, harmonising Islamic and Western banking, exploring the export potential for high quality education in developing economies, and developing technological collaboration between Islamic and European economies. The event warmly welcomes participation from the Muslim and non- Muslim world.

Chairman of the WIEF, the Hon Tun Musa Hitam, said: “The forthcoming 9th World Islamic Economic Forum will be a great opportunity to build bridges towards peace and prosperity between the Muslim and non-Muslim world through the common language of business. The WIEF will showcase the very best that the Islamic world has to offer as a lucrative trade and investment hub.”

The Mayor of London, Boris Johnson, said: “It is an immense honour that the World Islamic Economic Forum has chosen London for its first gathering outside of Asia. As London demonstrated last year, we can stage world class events with flair whilst providing a warm, friendly welcome to international visitors. Hosting this prestigious conference also presents huge opportunities to promote London as a world beating business hub, highlighting our status as a major centre of Islamic finance and as a compelling destination for foreign investors.”

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