Tuesday, January 18, 2011


Thursday January 13, 2011





Yang Berbahagia Tan Sri Dato’ Seri Elyas Omar,
Chairman OIC International Business Centre;

Yang Berbahagia Dato’ Raja Mohamad Abdullah,
Chief Executive Officer OIC International Business Centre and also
Chairman of Muslim World BIZ 2011 (Business & Investment Zone);

Your Excellencies,

Distinguished Guests,

Ladies and Gentlemen,

AssalamualaIkum W.B.T, Salam 1Malaysia and a very good morning.

1. Firstly, allow me to extend my sincere thanks to the organisers the OIC International Business Centre for inviting me today to officiate the soft launch of the 2nd Muslim World BIZ 2011-Business & Investment Zone and Conference. I am told that this event will be attended by a large number of distinguished guests not only from within Malaysia but also from foreign embassies, foreign trade chambers of commerce and related promotion agencies as well as interested industry associations. I am pleased that Malaysia will once again play host to this important event that aspires to continue in its efforts to encourage and increase trade ties specifically amongst Muslim nations as well as between Muslim nations and the rest of the world.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

2. The growing potential of consumer markets in Muslim countries is well documented and so the need for aggressive trade promotions between these Muslim markets intensifies particularly when traditional trade partners in the West are experiencing an Age of Austerity and slowdown in economic activity. Presently, the Halal gold rush is the new growth frontier for corporations. With an estimated and largely untapped consumer market of 1.6 billion Muslims-this segment collectively represents significant wealth accumulation with an ever increasing population growth that has the propensity to consume more Halal products and services.

3. And so as Malaysians we cherish progress in the path to prosperity in nation-building. Furthermore, the fact that we are a primary trading nation within ASEAN and with other world markets allows us to take up this challenge in bringing the Ummah together in trade and business. I believe that Malaysia’s economic successes thus far partly lies in our ability to bring together in a crowd; peoples of different nations to advance a common purpose. I hope that this Malaysian trait will again make that difference today.

Honourable Guests,

4. Events like these can create opportunities not just for networking and establishing trade linkages. Muslim World BIZ is not just an opportunity to foster trade and development in this context but to also encourage Muslims from all over the world to contribute to global economic well-being and growth in a big way and in every sense of the word. I believe that we are only scratching the surface in terms of investment opportunities or trade and business leads. Despite the ongoing global economic lag-consumer expenditure generated by the strong demand for essential Halal products is strong. The Muslim consumer is viewed as a critically important economic segment with the Halal segment alone is worth approximately USD2.1 trillion thus far and growing at around USD500 billion annually. This fountain of wealth is just beginning to flow rapidly.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

5. In doing justice to this short speech, I’d like to take this opportunity to highlight to our foreign guests in particular some of the measures that the Malaysian Government has taken under the Economic Transformation Programme (ETP) and the New Economic Model (NEM) as unveiled by our Right Honourable Prime Minister.

6. For your information, the Government in 2009 established the National Economic Advisory Council (NEAC) and The Performance Management and Delivery Unit (PEMANDU) to drive Malaysia’s transformation journey in attaining advanced-nation status as espoused in Vision 2020. The NEAC was tasked with carrying out the New Economic Model (NEM) while PEMANDU the Government Transformation Programme (GTP). Both the NEM and GTP were launched in early 2010. Then, the National Key Economic Areas (NKEAs) were later announced to complement the NEM in achieving its high-income nation status objective.

7. The NEM is premised on attaining three main objectives; high-income nation status, inclusive growth for all Malaysians regardless of class nor creed and sustainable development for the sake of future prosperity. The NEM sets the foundation bricks necessary for sustainable economic growth over the long-term. This includes policy measures (i.e. Strategic Reform Initiatives-SRIs) to address some of the cross-cutting issues that hamper Malaysia’s efforts to surge away from falling into the middle-income trap.

8. Therefore, to achieve a high-income nation status with a per capita income target of USD 15,000 – the 12 main thrusts or areas of development under the NKEAs are oil and gas, education, tourism, wholesale and retail, electric and electronics, healthcare, palm oil, communication content and infrastructure, agriculture, business services, financial services and Greater KL. These areas of investment would require about USD 444 billion or the estimated equivalent of RM 1.3 trillion worth of private investments from both foreign and domestic sources. The targeted Domestic Direct Investment (DDI) is RM 953 billion which is 73% of the total private investment required.

9. Thus, in light of the very many projects that are in the pipeline I would like to invite interested parties present today to get in touch with the Ministry of International Trade and Industry (MITI) and invest in Malaysia’s future that could prove mutually lucrative for investors. Our officers are ready to respond to your queries and point you in the right direction to get things done.

Brothers and Sisters,

10. Before I take my leave, allow me to once again thank the organisers for their kind invitation. My hope is that this event will continue to grow exponentially in the years to come. With an enhanced stature, Muslim World Biz could serve as a global trade event for both Muslim and non-Muslim parties. All are welcomed and indeed all stand to benefit.

11. On that note and without further ado I hereby officially launch the 2nd Muslim World Biz 2011 – Business & Investment Zone. I wish participants every success, Insha’ Allah.

Thank you.

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