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Tan Sri Dato' Ahmad Fuzi of SSP says WIEF to chart future of halal industry, Islamic finance

Tan Sri Dato' Ahmad Fuzi  with Mr. Guna Mahalingam, Founder and CEO of Strategic Swiss Partners at the 13th World Islamic Economic Forum in Sarawak, Malaysia

Tan Sri Dato' Ahmad Fuzi, is a member of Strategic Swiss Partners' Global Advisory Board, and the secretary-general of the WIEF Foundation.

MALAYSIA, November 23, 2017

Strategic Swiss Partners' Global Advisory Board Member Tan Sri Dato' Ahmad Fuzi Abdul Razak says the World Islamic Economic Forum (WIEF) will be playing a crucial role in charting the future of the halal industry and Islamic finance in the years to come.

Fuzi, who is also WIEF Foundation secretary-general, said the impact of the Fourth Industrial Revolution would necessitate the formulation of a standard framework to develop the halal industry, with a special focus on Syariah-compliant banking and the Islamic financial sector.

The establishment of the common framework, he said, was an "extremely important" move to make the halal industry more viable and to accelerate the expansion of Islamic banking in Muslim and non-Muslim countries.

“This is something being discussed now. It is a work in progress since the standard adopted by countries may differ from one another in terms of Syariah-compliance.

“In Malaysia, the Islamic Development Department (Jakim) has been assigned to establish the standard in mapping the halal industry, not only in food production, but also other related areas.

“The standard laid out by Jakim has received worldwide recognition from Muslim and non-Muslim nations alike, including China.

“We hope through this forum as a platform, the standard used by Malaysia will eventually be recognised as the world international standard,” said Fuzi in a special interview with Media Prima Bhd, the official media partner for the 13th WIEF in Sarawak, Malaysia from November 21-23, 2017.

Fuzi said Malaysia was capable of playing a leading role in the development of Islamic banking and finance — a sector continuously championed by the forum since its inception 13 years ago.

Malaysia, he said, has introduced a policy, which had helped spur the growth and expansion of the Islamic banking sector in the country.

“In Malaysia, a financial institution can offer conventional and Islamic banking under one roof.

“For instance, Malayan Banking Bhd has about 400 branches nationwide and each branch is able to provide both types of banking services.

“This is not the case for some countries, especially member nations of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC), which imposed a requirement of having a separate entity to differentiate conventional and Islamic banking,” he said.

Fuzi is also Group Chairman of Ace Banking Group, ACE Holdings Sdn Bhd and ACE Asset Management as well as Chairman of Syarikat Takaful Malaysia Bhd and a host of other Islamic-centred business entities.

He was once the secretary-general of Malaysia's Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

Malaysian Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak opened and delivered the keynote address at this year’s forum.

Other world leaders at the forum included Indonesian president Joko Widodo, Moroccan Prime Minister Saad Eddine El Othmani, President of the Union of the Comoros Azali Assoumani and Vice-President of Ghana, Dr Mahamudu Bawumia.

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