KUCHING: The upcoming 13th edition of the World Islamic Economic Forum (13th WIEF) will serve as a comprehensive platform for participating nations to deliberate on the future of the global halal and Islamic finance industries.
WIEF Foundation secretary-general Tan Sri Ahmad Fuzi Abdul Razak said the impact of the Fourth Industrial Revolution, apart from the need to formulate a standard framework to develop the halal industry, the Syariah-compliant banking sector would also take centre stage during the three-day forum.
The establishment of the common framework, he said, is “extremely important” not only to make the halal industry more viable, but also to accelerate the expansion of Islamic banking in Muslims and non-Muslim countries.
“This is something being discussed now. It is a work in progress since the standard adopted by countries may differ from one another in terms of Syariah-compliance.
“In Malaysia, the Islamic Development Department (Jakim) has been assigned to establish the standard in mapping the halal industry, not only in food production, but also other related areas.
“The standard laid out by Jakim has received worldwide recognition from Muslim and non-Muslim nations alike, including China.
“We hope through this forum as a platform, the standard used by Malaysia will eventually be recognised as the world international standard,” said Fuzi in a special interview with Media Prima Bhd, which is the official media partner for 13th WIEF.
Fuzi said Malaysia was capable of playing a leading role in the development of Islamic banking and finance — a sector that has been continuously championed by the forum since its inception 13 years ago.
Malaysia, he said, has introduced a policy, which had helped spur the growth and expansion of Islamic banking sector in the country.
“In Malaysia, a financial institution can offer conventional and Islamic banking under one roof.
“For instance, Malayan Banking Bhd has about 400 branches nationwide and each branch is able to provide both types of banking services.
“This is not the case for some countries, especially members nations of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC), where it imposed a requirement of having a separate entity to differentiate conventional and Islamic banking,” he said.
Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak will open and deliver his keynote address at this year’s forum which begins on Nov 21. Other world leaders expected at the forum include Indonesian president Joko Widodo, Moroccan Prime Minister Saad Eddine El Othmani, President of the Union of the Comoros Azali Assoumani and Vice-President of Ghana, Dr Mahamudu Bawumia.