The Muslim world must focus on efforts to rediscover Islamic principles and promote regional cooperation in order to successfully overcome economic challenges, The Hon. Dato’ Sri Mustapa Mohamed, Minister of International Trade and Industry, Malaysia, stated during a panel discussion on the opening day of the 10th World Islamic Economic Forum in Dubai yesterday.
Calling for joint efforts towards inclusive growth, the minister said: “Despite great achievements in the past, the several Muslim countries are still grappling with issues of poverty and several other economic challenges. Political stability and concrete measures to counter extremism have become more relevant today than ever before.” The minister added that Malaysia is ready to share its experiences in economic prosperity with other countries.
H.E. Hisham Al Shirawi, Chairman of Economic Zones World and Vice-Chairman of Dubai Chamber of Commerce and Industry, said the development of the UAE, especially Dubai, offers a resilient economic model in today’s world.“As one of the most dynamic economies, Dubai’s growth is characterized by simple economic development. Starting from humble beginnings, Dubai has transformed within a very short time into one of the most influential economies of the world.
Explaining the Dubai model of growth, H.E. Al Shirawi added: “We first created supply then we created demand. Today Dubai has successfully achieved confidence in its economy.”
Roger Bootle, Managing Director of Capital Economics, UK, said emerging global markets have slowed down considerably in recent years. However, he said the growth potential is not exhausted.
Stating that fundamental level of efficiency of economy is crucial, Bootle said: “Islamic countries can gain rapid growth by getting the structure of monitory and fiscal policy right.”
Datuk Ranjit Ajit Singh, Executive Chairman of Securities Commission, Malaysia, said global economies are still in a transitional stage and called for the development of resilient economic models.
“For many years, the conception was that unfettered markets are ideal models for growth but recent global experiences have revealed staggering levels of inequality.”
Highlighting the positive opportunities offered by Islamic finance, Datuk Ajit Singh said: “In many ways the growth of Islamic finance is timely. In fact, Islamic economy is linked to not only greater participation in equitable distribution of growth opportunities but also sustainable and inclusive growth.”
Atsutoshi Nishida, Advisor to the Board, Toshiba Corporation, Japan, stressed the importance of creating mechanisms that can generate sustainable economic development. He said education was a key element in achieving this goal as it creates the right foundation for long term growth.
Nishida also highlighted energy as a crucial area that needs particular focus in creating sustainable economies. “An energy focused economy should work towards reducing greenhouse gas emissions and encouraging energy conservation techniques.”
Emphasising the role of Islamic economies in this initiative, Nishida said: “Halal focused development should create smart buildings to build smart communities. Construction of smart human communities is crucial to global human development.”
The 10th World Islamic Economic Forum, which runs until Thursday, October 30, is being organised by the WIEF Foundation in collaboration with Dubai Chamber, as part of its efforts to support the vision of the emirate to become the global capital of Islamic economy.
For more information, visit the 10th WIEF website: www.10thwief.org