<p>The Jeddah-based Islamic Development Bank (IsDB) Group has expressed its commitment to engage with the World Islamic Economic Forum Foundation to support it in achieving the common goal of becoming even more effective and relevant to the needs and expectations of businesses and citizens.</p>

<p>This was part of the IsDB statement to the 13th World Islamic Economic Forum (WIEF) in Kuching, Sarawak, Malaysia, which was read out by IsDB Vice President, H.E. Mohamed Nouri Jouini who was representing the IsDB Group President, Dr. Bandar Hajjar.</p>

<p>The statement referred to the World Islamic Economic Forum (WIEF) as an important event in the business landscape and an excellent platform for knowledge sharing and discussion of critical development issues as well as for seeking and building business and institutional partnerships. According to the statement, IsDB will soon develop an “Innovators’ Hub” by partnering with start-ups, experts, consulting firms/associations, as well as public and private institutions in its core strategic sectors of intervention. The Bank has so far invested US $ 4.4 billion in the education sector across 1,611 operations while it recently launched a US $500 million STI fund to support Science, Technology, and Innovation.</p>

<p>This year’s World Islamic Economic Forum, attended by 3249 participants, was held under the theme of “Disruptive Change, Impact &amp; Challenges.” The Rt. Hon. Datuk Patinggi Mohd Najib Tun Abdul Razak,Prime Minister of Malaysia and Patron of the WIEF Foundation officially opened the 3 day forum on 21 November, 2017.</p>

<p>Other speakers at the opening ceremony of the Forum were Chief Minister of Sarawak, the Rt. Hon. Datuk Padinggi (Dr.) Abang Haji Abdul Rahman Zohari bin Tun Datuk Abang Haji Openg, H.E. Dr. Saad Eddine El Othmani, Head of Government, Kingdom of Morocco, H.E. Djaffar Ahmed Said Hassani, Vice President of the Union of Comoros, H.E. Rustam Minnikhanov, President of the Republic of Tatarstan, and the Hon. Tun Musa Hitam, Chairman of the WIEF Foundation.</p>

<p>A variety of events, speeches and networking sessions featured during the 13th WIEF in diverse fields including, Islamic Finance, Empowering Women Entrepreneurship, Infrastructure, Halal Industry, Renewable Energy and Agriculture, Fintech, the Internet of things, and Block-chain technology. The opening day of the Forum also saw the unveiling of the International Halal Award by the Government of Malaysia whose first edition will be conferred in 2018.</p>

<p>The final communique of the forum enumerated notable recommendations arising from the various sessions including: pursuing the digital transformation to enhance efficiency in agriculture, financial services, education and training, infrastructure development and manufacturing; promoting an enabling environment for Waqf and social finance, fostering the development of Halal eco-system; enhancing inter-governmental regional cooperation to promote the green economy; and ensuring that disruptive change pushed by artificial intelligence and robotics, fin-tech, block-chain, the internet of things, etc., operate within a proper regulatory framework. The IsDB Group also took part in the WIEF’s annual exhibition along with tens of other leading brands and entrepreneurs from within and outside the Muslim world.</p>