(MENAFN - Kuwait News Agency (KUNA)) World Islamic Economic Forum (WIEF) kicked off on Tuesday in the city of Johor Bahru southern Malaysia with participation of more than 1,500 partakers representing 50 countries, while senior Islamic leaders and officials apologized for attendance.
Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Abdul-Razak said in his speech, at the opening ceremony of the three-day event, that this forum will focus on role of Muslim youth in using their qualifications and knowledge to shore up economies of their countries.
He tackled a number of strategies the forum will shed light on, like plans for promotion of education, freedom of economies, using modern technologies, promoting justice, preparing youth investors and political freedom.
Economic chances are available for Muslim youth and should be well-utilized, Abdul-Razak said. "We lost a lot of youth because of terrorism and indifference and they should be better guided, especially that we are facing drastic growth of the number of Muslims aged under 30, with the proportion of this segment reaching 60 percent," he affirmed.
The forum themed "Changing Trends, New Opportunities" is working to explore new opportunities amid changing economic approaches, (WIEF) Chairman Musa Hitam said.
He expressed his trust of improving commercial cooperation among Islamic countries.
Despite worries by some participants concerning unrest in the Middle East, commerce should progress and continue for boosting local and international economies, he stated. The forum will discuss economic issues of collective impact and dynamic changes in the field of commerce and business,
especially post the Arab Spring, and the euro crisis, as well as changes of Islamic regions in southeastern Asia which offered wide opportunities of investments.
The forum will shed light on developing the predominantly-Muslim southern Philippines, following the peace agreement signed between the government and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF).
Head of Moro Murad Ebrahim is taking part in this international event, he said.
WIEF was launched, nine years ago, as a business center, complementary to the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation summit. It has since grown to become a platform for women and youth leaders and includes participants from both Muslim and non-Muslim nations.