Leaders reaffirm boosting trade between Muslim, non-Muslim world

National 2 minutes, 27 seconds


HIS Majesty the Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan of Brunei Darussalam joined 17 other global leaders in reaffirming their commitment to promoting business between the Muslim and non-Muslim world at the Ninth World Islamic Economic Forum (WIEF) yesterday in London on Tuesday.

The monarch was greeted on arrival at the international convention centre by Najib Tun Razak, Patron of the WIEF Foundation and Prime Minister of Malaysia.

Among the leaders attending the forum are British Prime Minister David Cameron; President of Afghanistan Hamid Karzai; Prince Salman bin Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa, Crown Prince of Bahrain; Moroccan Prime Minister Abdelilah Benkirane; Rowsch Nuri Shaways, Deputy Prime Minister of Iraq; Asset Issekeshev, Deputy Prime Minister of Kazakhstan; King Abdullah II of Jordan; Bakir Izetbegovic, member of the Bosnia and Herzegovina Tripartite Presidency; Atifete Jahjaga, President of Kosovo; Ali Babacan, Deputy Prime Minister of Turkey; and Craig Cannonier, Premier of Bermuda.

The forum was officially opened by the WIEF Foundation patron.

In the evening, Britain’s Prince Charles hosted a gala dinner.

His Majesty in his titah said the increasing economic interdependence and integrity among countries and regions has tremendous implications on the way people think, work and deal with one another. These concerns are of global dimension and can affect societies and the quality of life. No one country by itself major global issues, His Majesty said.

Najib in his speech said: “As we search for new and more sustainable growth models, there is one path that can increase productivity, improve corporate decision making, and strengthen economies. To take it, we must confront one of the most stubborn inequalities, one that is holding back prosperity and hindering development. It is time to put women at the heart of our global growth story.”

The Malaysian premier stressed the need for progress on three areas – education, workforce participation and corporate diversity which can unlock significant opportunities, not just for our citizens but for our nations.

“By educating our girls and women, by increasing their participation in the workforce, and by ensuring the highest opportunities remain open to all, we can strengthen our companies, our economies and our prospects for our future,” he said.

His Majesty lauded London’s initiatives on Islamic finance.

“London's role in Islamic finance began about a decade ago when regulators and policymakers introduced reforms which (ease) the use of syariah-compliant products,” he said.

His Majesty, who has long been an advocate of education and learning, also suggested that education institutions further develop networks and linkages to promote wider student exchanges in all fields of knowledge, including Islamic studies.

“Britain is host to many fine education establishments and institutions including a number that focus on Islamic studies such as the Oxford Centre for Islamic Studies,” His Majesty said.

The monarch said the World Islamic Economic Forum will open up avenues of communication that will forge new, enduring relationships among Muslims and non-Muslims worldwide, united by shared values, interests and concerns.

The Brunei Times