The World Islamic Economic Forum (WIEF) was hosted for the 13th time on 21-23 November 2017, this hear held in Kuching on Borneo, Malaysia. Sweden participated in WIFE for the first time with an official delegation headed by Ambassador Dag Juhlin-Dannfelt with the participation of Stockholm Chamber of Commerce, Ericsson , EQT and the start-up MyBazar. Appreciated Swedish speakers at WIEF were Andreas Hatzigeorgiou, Chief Economist at Stockholm Chamber of Commerce; Johan Bygge, CEO EQT Asia; Todd Ashton, Managing Director Ericsson Malaysia, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka; and Armin Osmancevic, CEO MyBazar. The Swedish consulting firm SixYearPlan also participated in WIEF in Kuching.
With ‘Disruptive Change: Impact and Challenges’ as theme, the 13th World Islamic Economic Forum discussed the impact and challenges of life-altering disruptive ideas as well as technologies, with some of the finest minds in the world today.
In line with what’s occurring globally, the 13th WIEF theme reflected the transformations motivated by disruptive technologies and how, despite this, there are positive inclinations arising amid a contradictory sentiment.
The initiative of WIEF was taken in 2004 by the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) in order to create a Muslim equivalent to the World Economic Forum. The WIEF Foundation, formed on the initiative of former Malaysian Prime Minister Abdullah Badawi, took charge of WIEF 2006, headquartered in Kuala Lumpur. Chairman of the WIEF Foundation is Tun Musa Hitam, Deputy Prime Minister in Malaysia, while WIEF Chairman of the WFD is always the Malaysian Prime Minister. Overall goals for WIEF include: to
– strengthen the economy of Muslim countries,
– strengthen the socio-economic status of Muslims through increased trade and business opportunities,
– favor the Muslim world’s economic integration as an equal partner in the world economy,
– show the Muslim world as a lucrative trading and investment market that can attract foreign investors and business partners from around the world,
– strengthen networks and strategic alliances through the exchange of ideas, information and knowledge, and that
– Promote dialogue and cooperation and build bridges for peace and success between the Muslim and non-Muslim world.
The foundation organizes annual summits that have been held in Istanbul, Kuala Lumpur, Islamabad, Kuwait City, Jakarta, Astana, Johor Bahru, Dubai and London. The foundation also organizes several capacity building programs; Business Women Network, Young Leaders Network, Education Trust and three-four round table calls per year.
The annual summits usually take place in a Muslim country, but were carried out in 2014 for the first time outside of the OIC country circle when the WIEF summit took place in London. At the WIEF Summit in Kuching, 21-23 November, political leaders like Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak, senior ministers from Indonesia, Morocco and Iran, as well as regional decision-makers as president of the Russian Republic of Tatarstan participated. Top international business leaders such as co-founder of Apple Steve Wozniak also participated as speakers.
The theme of this year’s WIEF was “Disruptive Change: Impact and Challenges”. Intensive and transparent discussions penetrated the various facets of the phenomenon called the fourth industrial revolution and its implications for states and business. Various themes such as the Internet of Things, Artificial Intelligence, Blockchain, Automation, Sustainability, etc. were highlighted. The Swedish speakers contributed with appreciated lectures and seminars on gender equality in business and female entrepreneurship (Johan Bygge, EQT), the development of the cashless society, fintech, circular economy and sustainability (Andreas Hatzigeorgiou, Stockholm Chamber of Commerce), Internet of Things (Todd Ashton, Ericsson) and Blockchain (Armin Osmancevic, MyBazar).
Source: WIEP, Embassy of Sweden in Kuala Lumpur