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World Economic Forum and India Steered Indo-pacific Strategy-Centric Policy

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By Ajmal Sohail

According to the sources, CIA members have gone to Switzerland to lead the security of the WEF meeting due to a possible attack. While the meeting of the World Economic Forum or WEF begins on January 16 in Davos, the Swiss Army has started security preparations under the leadership of CIA in the field for the annual meeting of the World Economic Forum (WEF) in Davos. For the WEF meeting in Davos, the Parliament has approved the preparation of 5000 soldiers, and now about 500 soldiers have been deployed to guard the meeting place, led by members of the United States’ Central Intelligence Network. The identities of the CIA Ops are not clear, because if the anti-western countries talk about the WEF meeting, that the security responsibility of the WEF meeting has been handed over to the CIA and only the soldiers will be from Switzerland, then it will increase the challenges to the WEF meeting. Intelligence experts and analysts of intelligence reports believe that this time, the war between Russia and Ukraine in Eastern Europe has led to the possible targeting of the WEF meeting in Switzerland, because in this international economic meeting, a number of economic topics will be also discussed against of Russia and its allies.

What is purpose of the Annual meeting of WEF?

This annual meeting, which is hosted by the Swiss country of Europe, is very important because the international economic companies and political bonds are led through the annual meeting of the World Economic Forum, and for years to come, this World Economic Forum engages leading political, business, cultural and other community leaders to shape global, regional and industry agendas. On the other hand, this annual meeting faces a number of possible risks and challenges, such as the religious war between Muslims and non-Muslims, which affects the economic forum, and the sabotage of the WEF annual meeting by terrorist and intelligence groups.

In addition, after the terrorist attacks in France in November 2015, the biggest challenge to the security of international meetings in Europe, and the current sensitive situation in Europe, the flames of war have started. The impact of the Russia-Ukraine conflict is being felt at the annual meeting of the World Economic Forum in Davos, and European and American business organizations and political processes may use tough measures against Russia. The political and business leaders of the world are worried about the economic future of Europe, because, the series of power division in Eastern Europe is going on rapidly, along with religious extremist non-militant and armed groups are also increasing in Europe, which can easily increase violence in Europe under the pretense of freedom of expression and religion. A clear example of which is the expansion of the Muslim Brotherhood and Hizb-ul-Tahrir groups in Britain, France and Germany. On the other hand, the economic and industrial promptness in Europe is increasing day by day, and at the same time, due to the war between Russia and Ukraine, the lack of energy and the trend of economic stagnation have created a sense of depression among many business leaders.

Other investment destinations also seem uncertain, but India has emerged as a region of both economic dynamism and political stability under the support of the United States, which is currently trying to include India in the P-5+1. Eager to capitalize on this current mood as an economic marketer, India is drawing the attention of world leaders to its reform decisions, and to the rapid pace at which a new unicorn is being created in the country.

Because the West is also trying to weaken the economic side of the European Union, And transfer the European economic and trade zone from Europe to South Asia and open a new economic zone by connecting Iran’s Chabahar port and Gwadar port in the future country of Baluchistan.

 In turn, China is reaching the Caspian Sea through Northern Afghanistan to expand its trade with the Middle East by using the Caspian, until to leave and forget of Pakistan’s Gwadar. And the United States is preparing to give a large share in the new economic zone to its close allies from the continent of Europe, such as France, Germany, England and a number of other countries, And before that, with the support of the United States, the UAE signed an agreement with France in the field of energy. In this way, the European allies of the United States will be included in the economic contracting countries of the new economic zone, in order to reach this point; there are now efforts to disrupt the economic agreements under the umbrella and leadership of the European Union.

The current World Economic Forum is looking at a different world than it did in the past, and this is a reason for India to find itself in the sweet spot and take advantage of Europe’s current external status to emerge as a new economic leader. Chain’s future role in the WEF and what will be its alternative approach against India. Before this, Chinese President Xi Jinping focused on the Davos summit; And Xi Jinping again presented China as a champion of free trade, while the United States under the leadership of Donald Trump was seen on the other side of the fence. However, with the end of Trump’s reign, the relations between the China and the West led by the United States have become more complicated, and the challenges to China’s economic development have increased.

Because of that, China is not present as a leading trader in the current Davos summit and is standing behind, and the main reason is China’s tough stance against Taiwan, So the focus of WEF next annual meeting has shifted to India, and India is enjoying potential benefits as an alternative investment destination. In bringing India to this position, the United States has lost its closest ally in the Middle East, Saudi Arabia, and the main reason was the United States allowing India to emerge as the star of EVs in the global economic competition against China until 2030.

Apart from this, another important topic for India is the renewable energy of green hydrogen. Green hydrogen is hydrogen made with renewable energy, India’s plan aims to replace fossil fuels with hydrogen in the production of fertilizer and steel, mix it into city gas supplies and promote its use in transportation. While India’s current production of green hydrogen is low and comes from a few pilot projects, But the country wants to produce 5 million tons of green hydrogen by the end of this decade. The Narendra Modi-led government has recently approved the National Green Hydrogen Mission, which is expected to open up new opportunities towards net-zero goals in the next five decades,  which will further reduce the role of China’s green hydrogen market in the international trade market. And India’s economy is estimated to grow by $20-30 trillion over the next three to five decades, which is in line with India’s net-zero commitment. Companies that want to promote India’s green hydrogen policy include Adani New Industries Ltd, Reliance Industries Ltd, Indian Oil Corporation Ltd, ONGC, GAIL India Ltd, Bharat Petroleum Corporation Ltd, NTPC Ltd, Larsen & Turbo, and Hindustan Petroleum Corporation Ltd, Started investing in green hydrogen innovations. These are the economic developments that can introduce India’s presence at the next WEF meeting.

What will be the position of the economic embargo of the United States against Venezuela and Iran at the 2023 World Economic Forum meeting?

After 2022, there is still a big question whether the United States will ease the sanctions on Venezuela and Iran in order to get oil alternative for the economic sanctions imposed on Russia due to the Russian invasion of Ukraine. Earlier, US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken said on March 6, 2022 that the US and its European allies might impose a ban on Russian oil imports in response to the war in Ukraine.

The administration under the leadership of US President Biden was ready to improve relations with Venezuela and ease sanctions after the 2022 WEF meeting because the United States needed Venezuela’s energy reserves. However, currently the question is the relationship between Iran and Venezuela, the negative effects of which can once again make the relationship between the United States and Venezuela difficult, meanwhile, the President of Venezuela, Nicolas Maduro, has recently expressed his willingness to close relations with the United States. However, Iran’s President Ibrahim Raisi, on Sunday, January 8, 2023, in a meeting with the new Venezuelan ambassador in Tehran, warned Venezuela to avoid closer relations with the United States. In addition, the tension in relations with Venezuela will complicate the security situation in Latin America, and these all were the most important factors to the security of the WEF annual meeting, which is currently receiving increased attention.

Courtesy: Modern Diplomacy


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EVENTS & ANNOUNCEMENTS

Unlocking Economic Potential: Zamfara State Halal Economic Summit

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By Baba Yunus Muhammad

Zamfara State is gearing up for an unprecedented event that could potentially redefine its economic landscape – the Zamfara State Halal Economic Summit. This historic event, which is scheduled to take place in the state capital, Gusau in May 2024, represents a pivotal moment in Zamfara State’s quest for economic rejuvenation and sustainable growth, spotlighting investment prospects, harnessing potentials, and capitalizing on the burgeoning Halal economy. Set against the backdrop of socio-economic challenges, this Summit, being orchestrated by the Africa Islamic Economic Foundation (AFRIEF), an international Islamic development organization headquartered in the Republic of Ghana, and convened under the Distinguished Patronage of His Excellency, Dr. Dauda Lawal, the Executive Governor of Zamfara State, emerges as a beacon of hope, offering a strategic platform for growth and development.

At the heart of this endeavor lies a visionary approach to economic development – one that views industrialization as the cornerstone of transformation, progress, and poverty reduction. Under the visionary leadership of Dr. Dauda Lawal, the Zamfara State Government has made a strategic commitment to prioritize job creation and industrialization, recognizing them as pivotal drivers of development. This strategic agenda dovetails seamlessly with the broader imperatives encapsulated within the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), aiming to significantly augment industry’s contribution to employment and GDP within the state.

The Zamfara State Halal Economic Summit transcends mere rhetoric – it represents a concrete manifestation of the State’s determination to harness the power of industrialization for the collective good. More than just a forum for dialogue, this summit serves as a catalyst for action – a platform where aspirations coalesce into actionable strategies and tangible outcomes.

At its nucleus lie the ambitious plans for establishing Special Halal Economic Zone and Rural Transformation Centers across the state, envisioned as engines of innovation, productivity and trade. The Summit serves as a catalyst for identifying and capitalizing on investment opportunities across various sectors. From agribusiness to Islamic finance, the summit offers a platform for investors to explore lucrative ventures and forge strategic partnerships with local stakeholders. One of the key investment prospects of the summit lies in the Halal food industry. With an increasing global demand for Halal-certified products, Zamfara can leverage its agricultural resources to become a hub for Halal food production and export. This not only creates opportunities for local farmers and agribusinesses but also positions Zamfara State favorably in the international Halal market.

A Special Halal Economic Zone (SHEZ) holds special significance within the context of the Halal economy. By designating an area specifically tailored to accommodate Halal industries and businesses, a Halal focused SEZ provides a conducive environment for investment, innovation, and trade. It offers streamlined regulatory frameworks, infrastructure development, and incentives to attract domestic and foreign investors interested in Halal-related activities. Additionally, a Halal focused SEZ serves as a focal point for research and development, fostering collaboration between academia, industry, and government to drive technological advancements and product innovation in Halal sectors.

Moreover, by clustering Halal-certified businesses within these zones, Zamfara State can create synergies, promote knowledge sharing, and drive economies of scale, thereby maximizing the potential of the Halal economy.

Driving this ambitious agenda forward is the Africa Islamic Economic Foundation (AFRIEF), which is steadfast in its commitment to galvanizing the global Islamic finance industry and mobilizing public and private sector investments to propel Zamfara State towards industrialization. With a strategic emphasis on key sectors such as agriculture, manufacturing, and industrialization, AFRIEF lays the groundwork for a profound structural overhaul of Zamfara’s economic landscape.

To comprehend the full magnitude of the Zamfara State Halal Economic Summit, one must delve into the broader context of the global halal economy. Encompassing a diverse array of sectors including food, finance, tourism, cosmetics, healthcare and pharmaceuticals, and more, the halal industry represents a burgeoning market with exponential growth potential.

With an estimated global Muslim population exceeding 1.8 billion, the Halal market represents a significant economic force. According to the State of the Global Islamic Economy Report, global expenditure on Halal products and services is projected to reach $3.2 trillion by 2024, highlighting the immense potential for growth and innovation in this sector. With the global Muslim population on the rise and an increasing demand for halal-certified goods and services, tapping into this market presents unparalleled opportunities for economic expansion and diversification.

Furthermore, the Halal economy extends beyond religious considerations, encompassing principles of ethical consumption, sustainability, and social responsibility. As consumers become increasingly conscious of the origins and production processes of goods and services, the demand for Halal-certified products continues to rise. This trend presents opportunities for businesses and governments alike to capitalize on the Halal economy’s principles of integrity, quality, and inclusivity.

From Malaysia to the Middle East, the Halal economy transcends geographical boundaries, offering opportunities for collaboration and partnership on a global scale. Through initiatives such as the Zamfara State Halal Economic Summit, stakeholders have the opportunity to leverage the power of the Halal economy to drive sustainable development, foster prosperity, and build bridges across cultures and continents.

Against the backdrop of Zamfara State’s socio-economic fabric, characterized by its predominantly rural populace and agrarian economy, the potential benefits of the summit are manifold. By fostering an enabling ecosystem for industrialization and entrepreneurship, the summit holds the promise of unlocking Zamfara State’s latent economic potential, generating employment opportunities, and improving living standards.

Furthermore, the Summit serves as a conduit for attracting both domestic and foreign investments, facilitating technology transfer, knowledge exchange, and skills enhancement. Through strategic partnerships and collaborative initiatives, Zamfara State can harness its unique strengths and resources to emerge as a preeminent hub of halal-centric industries.

Additionally, the summit serves as a platform for knowledge exchange and capacity building, equipping local entrepreneurs and businesses with the skills and resources needed to thrive in the global Halal market. This not only enhances the competitiveness of Zamfara’s economy but also positions the state as a center of excellence in Halal-related industries.

In conclusion, the Zamfara State Halal Economic Summit represents a pivotal moment in the economic trajectory of the state and the broader Islamic economic community. By embracing the principles of the Halal economy and leveraging its inherent strengths, Zamfara has the potential to emerge as a beacon of prosperity and progress in the Federal republic of Nigeria. Under the visionary leadership of Governor Dauda Lawal and with the support of the Africa Islamic Economic Foundation, this summit is poised to chart a new course towards sustainable development, transforming challenges into opportunities, and realizing the aspirations of the people of Zamfara for a better, more prosperous future.

Baba Yunus Muhammad is President of the Africa Islamic Economic Foundation, Tamale, Ghana.


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EVENTS & ANNOUNCEMENTS

What To Expect From the Kuala Lumpur Islamic Finance Forum 2024?

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The Kuala Lumpur Islamic Finance Forum (KLIFF) 2024 is poised to be a pivotal event in the Islamic finance industry, building on the momentum of its previous editions. The forum has consistently served as a crucial platform for discussions on the latest trends, challenges, and opportunities in Islamic finance, drawing attention to the innovative strides and potential growth areas within the sector.

Key Expectations from KLIFF 2024

  • Industry Leadership and Expert Insights: The forum is expected to host a distinguished lineup of speakers from various sectors of Islamic finance, including banking, fintech, asset management, and more. Previous editions have seen influential figures such as Dima Djani, CEO of Hijra Group, and Jamaludin Bujang, Managing Partner (Malaysia) at Gobi Partners, sharing their insights, which indicates the caliber of thought leadership that attendees can anticipate in 2024​.
  • Sustainable and Ethical Finance Focus: A significant emphasis on sustainable and ethical finance principles is likely, reflecting a global trend towards more responsible investment practices. This aligns with the broader objectives of Islamic finance to contribute positively to society and the environment. Discussions may revolve around leveraging Islamic finance and social finance for sustainable future, as seen in previous forums​
  • Global Islamic Fintech Outlook: The rapid growth and innovation in Islamic fintech will likely be a central theme, given its increasing prominence in offering Shariah-compliant financial solutions worldwide. The previous edition highlighted the sector’s expansion, including the adoption of blockchain and cryptocurrency, emphasizing the role of digital banking in enhancing financial inclusion and the importance of regulatory frameworks to support industry growth​
  • Networking and Collaboration Opportunities: KLIFF 2024 will provide invaluable networking opportunities, facilitating connections between industry stakeholders, including investors, policymakers, and professionals. This collaboration is essential for fostering innovation and exploring new ventures in the Islamic finance landscape.
  • Support from Industry Leaders: The forum’s impact is underscored by the support it receives from leading entities in the Islamic finance sector. For instance, Principal Asset Management’s partnership for the IFN Investor Asia Forum 2024, scheduled in Kuala Lumpur, indicates the level of industry backing and commitment to advancing Islamic finance​
  • Innovative Solutions and Best Practices: Attendees can expect to learn about the latest innovative solutions and best practices within Islamic finance, including advancements in Sukuk, Islamic banking, asset management, and more. The event will likely showcase cutting-edge research, case studies, and success stories from around the globe.

The Kuala Lumpur Islamic Finance Forum (KLIFF) 2024 is set to be a landmark event, highlighting the growing importance and dynamism of the Islamic finance industry. With a focus on sustainability, technological innovation, and global collaboration, KLIFF 2024 will offer attendees a comprehensive view of the sector’s current state and future directions. By gathering experts, thought leaders, and practitioners from around the world, the forum will continue to play a crucial role in shaping the Islamic finance landscape, promoting development, and addressing the evolving needs of the global economy.


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OIC Secretary-General Calls on OIC Member States to Invest More in Critical Sectors of the Economy

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On the 4th of December 2023, the President of the Republic of Türkiye, His Excellency Recep Tayyip Erdogan, inaugurated the 39th Session of the OIC Standing Committee for Economic and Commercial Cooperation (COMCEC), in Istanbul. The ceremony was attended by the OIC Secretary-General and Member States’ concerned ministers.

In his Statement, President Erdogan highlighted the grave situation in Gaza and the rising trend of Islamophobia and emphasized the need for all OIC Member States to have a unified position to address current challenges facing the Muslim Ummah.

He also underscored the importance of implementing the Trade Preferential System among OIC Member States as well as supporting the OIC Arbitration Centre, developing small and medium enterprises (SMEs) and halal industries towards promoting sustainable socio-economic growth in OIC Member States.

Speaking at the Opening Ceremony of the 39th Session of COMCEC, H.E Mr. Hissein Brahim Taha, the Secretary-General of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC), acknowledged the continued support of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, the Chairman of COMCEC, towards the realization of various economic programs and projects of the OIC.

Referring to the tragic massacres taking in Gaza and Palestine generally, the Secretary-General called upon the international community to intervene urgently to put an end to Israel’s criminal aggression and murder of Palestinians. While highlighting the activities of OIC and its institutions in the economic domain during the last one year, the Secretary-General emphasized the need to further enhance intra-OIC cooperation in the vital sectors of the economy.

Especially in the food and agriculture sector, to build more resilient food systems, share knowledge and best practices in order to help develop domestic production capacities in OIC Member States. Accordingly, he called for greater cooperation, harmonization, and synergizing of efforts toward addressing the developmental challenges of OIC Member States.

The Opening Ceremony was also addressed by Ministers in charge of trade from Qatar, Senegal, and Kazakstan in their capacities as representatives of Arab, African, and Asian groups

The 39th Session of COMCEC is being attended by Ministers in charge of trade and economy of the OIC Member States as well as OIC institutions and international organizations. The Session will review the status of implementation of various projects under the COMCEC in the areas of trade and investment, agriculture, tourism and financial development, Private Sector, and poverty alleviation among others. The theme of the 39th COMCEC Sessions is “Improving E-Commerce Capacities of the OIC Member Countries”.

COMCEC is an OIC Standing Committee for Economic and Commercial Cooperation, which meets annually to review OIC activities in the economic and trade development domains.


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