Business is booming at the WIEF, and artists are invited

Photos (from left): Julien Cottet sape master from Paris performing at MOCAfest 2017 in Kuching, Sarawak. Malaysian Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak speaking at the opening of the 13th WIEF on November 21, 2017 and Calligraffiti by Dhiya Roslan at MOCAfest 2017 in Kuching, Sarawak, Malaysia. 

By the first day of the 13th World Islamic Economic Forum (WIEF), 16 MoUs worth about $2.5 billion (RM 10.37 billion) had reportedly been signed. These deals have already marked it as one of the largest in the forum’s history.

This three-day event is a global business forum that showcases opportunities in the Islamic economies. It is perhaps the biggest platform this year for discussions on developments in Islamic economies and the emergence of the halal industry in Muslim and non-Muslim nations. The theme of the 13th WIEF is “Disruptive Change: Impact and Challenges”.

Malaysia Sarawak_Prime Minister Najib speaks at 13th WIEF_21 November 2017Photo: Malaysian Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak speaking at the opening of the 13th WIEF on November 21, 2017 / Photo supplied by WIEF

Prime Minister of Malaysia Najib Razak opened the event on Tuesday in Kuching, Sarawak. The host city has promoted itself as an ideal hub for tourism and investments during the three-day forum.

During his inaugural address, the Prime Minister stated that the Muslim world lacks investment in the right kind of quality education. “Indeed, there is a vast number of people who don’t even have access to basic necessities like water, healthcare, even basic education,” he said.

Najib also stressed the need for sustainability and a green economy. Malaysia, Indonesia and Brunei need to step up efforts to collaborate in promoting the latter, including green technology and wildlife conservation, he said.

Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak at the 13th WIEFPhoto: Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak at the 13th WIEF in Kuching, Sarawak, Malaysia. Photo by Seban Scaria

Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak shared his insights on championing creativity, spearheading innovation and empowering the youth. He called for greater government support to improve digital growth: “The government should be behind the digital growth. It is really the future of the whole world. The countries that do their best in it are going to go through this and have the best level of income.”

Experts at the forum also discussed topics ranging from leadership and management roles in business, to how women’s entrepreneurship can be developed, to how SMEs can enter the mainstream halal value chain, to the prospects of fintech in Islamic Finance.

The WIEF Exhibition, an extension of the forum, also provided interested organisations with the opportunity to promote their brands, showcase their products and services, and directly engage with guests and participants.

Malaysia_Percussionist Steve Thornton performing at MOCAfest 2017Photo: American percussionist Steve Thornton and Indonesia's Yudelele performing at MOCAfest 2017 in Kuching, Sarawak, Malaysia. Photo by Seban Scaria
Malaysia_MOCAfest calligraffiti by Dhiya RoslanPhoto: Calligraffiti by Dhiya Roslan at MOCAfest 2017 in Kuching, Sarawak, Malaysia. Photo by Seban Scaria

MOCAfest (Marketplace of Creative Arts), the WIEF Foundation’s arts and culture festival, used the platform to showcase emerging creative artists from around the world and display their works. The main lobby of the WIEF hosted MOCAfest’s visual art exhibition and live installations. The forum also showcased a MOCAsouq, a creative bazaar for all things artisanal.

Malaysia_Sape master Julien Cottet performing at MOCAfest 2017Photo: Julien Cottet sape master from Paris performing at MOCAfest 2017 in Kuching, Sarawak, Malaysia. Photo by Seban Scaria
Malaysia_Visual art by Yakup Mohd Rafee at MOCAfest 2017Photo: Visual art by Yakup Mohd Rafee at MOCAfest 2017 in Kuching, Sarawak, Malaysia. Photo by Seban Scaria

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