KUCHING: Malaysia is recognised as the number one country that has taken a strategic effort in capitalizing on various Islamic economy industries. According to Thomson Reuters report on the State of the Global Islamic Economy 2016/2017, the Islamic Economy, Malaysia’s top position had a 50 per cent higher score than second placed country, namely, United Arab Emirates (UAE).
Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak disclosed this yesterday in his speech during the 13th World Islamic Economic Forum (WIEF) held at the Borneo Convent ion Cent re Kuching (BCCK). Ac c o rd i ng t o Na j i b, t h e Islamic Economy consists of six sub sections, namely, Halal Food, Islamic Finance, Halal Travel, Modest Fashion, Halal Media & Recreation, and Halal Pharmaceuticals & Cosmetics.
The report said that the Islamic Economy was projected to reach a massive USD3 trillion by 2021. Malaysia came first for Islamic finance and second for Halal travel, and Halal Pharmaceuticals & Cosmetics.
The report also recognised Malaysia as the “best developed ecosystem for Islamic finance” and having “the strongest regulatory framework”. Najib also cited the report’s study on a Pew Research Centre study which predicted the world’s Muslim population would grow twice the rate of the non-Muslim population.
By 2030, 29 per cent of the world’s youth will be Muslims, which is a very significant percentage of the young consumers market and Malaysia wants to ensure it will reap the demographic dividend. “In order to do so, governments will have to be responsible and responsive to disruptive change because sometimes it means instigating it,” added Najib.
“Malaysia did, when we introduced the Goods and Services Tax (GST). It would have been easier not to do so, as what appears to be a new tax – even though it simply replaced an old one – also seen to be disruptive. “We knew it wouldn’t be popular but it would have been irresponsible not to bring GST in. “If we do not adjust our policies, our nation loses its competitive edge and gets overtaken by other countries and we cannot and must not allow that.
“We knew that if we are able to achieve our goal of becoming a high-income nation by 2020, we have to make changes,” said the Prime Minister.