This is the Forum’s first annual event in Europe following successes in Malaysia, Kazakhstan, Indonesia, Kuwait and Pakistan.
Delegations from more than 115 countries attended the Forum.
At the 9th WIEF, sessions are adapted to increase delegates’ participation as they explore business and investment opportunities, as well as engage in discourse on topical issues and how best to address them.
Key areas of focus at the 9th WIEF forum London includes Islamic banking and finance, technology, infrastructure development, health, exports, education and youth.
According to press release issued by FCO, Baroness Warsi noted that WIEF London encapsulates the emergence of new economic ties between nations, religions and cultures.
“Some want investments that are managed in accordance with their faith. Others are, in the wake of the financial crisis, drawn by principles of balance, shared risk, fairness and transparency. While others still are attracted by the sheer potential of an industry worth around $1.85 trillion globally with growth rates of up to 15% per year. Whatever the draw, the buzz around Islamic and ethical finance continues to grow louder and stronger.
“The UK, already home to the world’s financial and legal capital, is an increasingly important global player in Islamic Finance and its status, reach and competitive market makes the service it is able to offer truly unique.
“Our expertise in Islamic Finance, where we have a growing number of banks, law firms and other service providers with a wealth of experience, is highly developed, and supported by an internationally renowned legal system and regulatory framework; a time-zone that is advantageous to doing businesses in the East and in the West; and thriving and cutting edge sectors as diverse as healthcare, education and smart cities.
“As delegates will see, the UK is open for business and has the experience, the skills, the innovation, and the connections to overcome the challenges of the global, 24 hour market and make the most of every economic opportunity. It’s why we are rightly seen as a partner of choice and why the WIEF will cement Britain’s position as the leading Western country for Islamic finance.”
Formally established on March 6, 2006, the World Islamic Economic Forum started off from a modest beginning as the OIC Business Forum, which was held on 15 October 2003, in conjunction with the tenth OIC Summit in 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 objective of the WIEF is to facilitate business amongst the Muslim World, promoting and encouraging profits that would eventually flow down to the most vulnerable peoples.