The MoUs include partnerships within the technology, halal food and energy sectors
By IZZAT RATNA / Pic By BERNAMA
A total of 16 memoranda of understanding (MoUs) with an estimated value of US$2.5 billion (RM10.36 billion) were signed in conjunction with the 13th edition of World Islamic Economic Forum (WIEF), the highest amount ever in the history of the forum.
Nine of the MoUs were signed by international organisations from Canada, China, the US and Indonesia, and include partnerships and collaborations within the technology, halal food and energy sectors.
The exchange was witnessed by Prime Minister Datuk Seri Mohd Najib Razak, accompanied by Sarawak Chief Minister Datuk Dr Abang Johari Abang Openg and WIEF Foundation chairman Tun Musa Hitam.
The new deals would join other success stories spear-headed by WIEF that has so far facilitated trade deals from diverse industry sectors among both Muslim and non-Muslim nations, amounting to some US$13 billion.
This year’s forum is themed “Disruptive Change: Impact and Challenges” and managed to attract over 2,500 participants from world leaders and captains of industry.
Najib said in his keynote address that Malaysia’s education system needs to be revamped as a hedge against what will “swiftly be a very different world” for the country to be at the forefront of the disruptive changes.
“The government is placing a special focus on innovation and creativity, which is in line with the aim to become one of the top 20 economies by 2050, through the National Transformation 2050 agenda,” he said. He said the government’s move to formulate the “Digital Policy” is in tandem with the economic transformation plan, as it serves as a key driver of growth for the digital space to hit the 20% gross domestic product contribution aim by 2020.
“And that is why we have recently become the first country in the world outside China to establish a digital free trade zone (DFTZ), which will provide physical and virtual zones to facilitate small and medium enterprises.
“This would also encourage local players to capitalise on the exponential growth that we are seeing in the Internet economy and in cross-border e-commerce,” he said, adding that DFTZ is also expected to help Malaysia’s transformation to become a regional digital hub.
Musa, who also spoke at the forum, concurred and said that there may be the convergence of many disruptive forces at the moment that would help growth and cooperation.