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Archive for the ‘Business & Finance’ Category

Today’s Sunday Herald carried a piece about our plan to hold events in the Middle East next year aimed at promoting Scotland.

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Arrived home safe and sound. The trip was extremely worthwhile, especially in terms of making new contacts and promoting the Etisal expo.

I’d like to thank the MCB’s Business and Economics Committee for taking us with them. The BEC is made up of some outstanding individuals, and they also make a very complimentary team with their various skillsets and talents. This is just one committee of the organisation, so it says something for its overall strength. I wish them well in their future works, especially as they seem to have some very exciting bits of work on the go.

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My dispatch from the final day of the World Islamic Economic Forum is Iqbal Khan’s speech on the global financial crisis. He is one of the most inspiring individuals I have met. I’ve got a propensity to like people that have strong principles, but also manage to carry them out successfully in reality. He’s one of the top Islamic bankers around, is full of knowledge and wisdom, and as CEO of Fajr Capital, a highly successful entrepreneur to boot.

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The forum kicked off in earnest today. Our day began though with a breakfast meeting with the head of Khazanah Nasional, the sovereign wealth fund of Malaysia.

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The pre-forum events of the World Islamic Economic Forum took place today, namely the Businesswomen and Young Leaders Forums.

Dato’ Sri Nazir Razak, chair of the WIEF young leaders network, kicked off the day commenting on the economic crisis, saying that it “wasn’t a crisis in the system, but of the system”, and that a radical overhaul was needed. The Muslim world was in a strong position because of liquidity in the Middle East and the principles of Islamic finance. The latter could be the foundations of a necessary new architecture.

Dato’ Dr Norraesah Mohamad, chair of the WIEF Businesswomen Network pointed out that women would be the most affected by the downturn, particularly in terms of unemployment. The irony is that if women had been more prominent, we wouldn’t be in the mess we’re in – men are risk takers. If only it had been Lehman Sisters instead of Lehman Brothers.

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I write to you having just arrived in the Indonesian capital Jakarta for the 5th World Islamic Economic Forum.

We’re here at the premier gathering of the Islamic business world as part of the Muslim Council of Britain’s delegation led by Sir Iqbal Sacranie.

Our main mission is to listen and learn, and also make contacts for the Scottish-Islamic Investment Expo we’re organising this October. That event will be seeking to increase trade links between Scotland and the Muslim world, and explore the possibilities Islamic finance could bring to our country.

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