BY THE BOOKS

Malaysia 2019 | TOURISM | INTERVIEW

The Organization of Islamic Cooperation seeks to standardize and promote Islamic commerce in Malaysia and across the world.

Muhammed Raja Talib bin Dato’ Raja Mohamad Abdullah
BIOGRAPHY
Muhammed Raja Talib bin Dato’ Raja Mohamad Abdullah is the CEO of OIC International Business Centre and the Chairman of the annual international trade exhibition and conference, the Muslim World Business and Investment Zone. Backed by his extensive experience in marketing and public relations, he has established a wide network with experts and business specialists from various industries across the Muslim world. His personal vision is to build a comprehensive and reliable platform for businesses to communicate in order to build long-term partnerships and formulate sound strategies for the overall development of the Islamic economy, with both Islamic and non-Islamic countries playing vital roles in the progress.

2019 marks the 50th anniversary of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC). How do you assess the role that the organization has played in promoting cooperation in the Islamic world?

The OIC is the collective voice of the Muslim world, and this has been the case since the establishment of the organization in 1969 when the OIC announced its fundamental mission to “safeguard and protect the interests of the Muslim world in the spirit of promoting international peace and harmony." Since then, the mandate of the OIC has been the generation and accomplishment of a unified vision adopted by all the member countries. As the second-largest inter-governmental organization in the world, the activities of the OIC cover many aspects of people's daily life including politics, economy, culture, religion, education, sports, and arts, among others. In order to create comprehensive and integrated solutions for various issues, there are several subsidiaries and agencies under the OIC, the headquarters of which are in Saudi Arabia.

How do the different programs of the annual Muslim World Business and Investment Zone contribute to the further development of the Islamic economy?

In fact, contributing to the overall development of the Islamic economy is the fundamental goal of our annual international trade event, the Muslim World Business and Investment Zone. We have designed the event to be a comprehensive platform where businesses from various industries in all 57 OIC member countries and beyond can find long-term partners and also get updates of the market based on extensive research by experts. The Muslim World Biz has three main components: the Exhibition Zone, where products and services from many countries around the world are showcased; the Conference Zone, where current practices are assessed and new strategies formulated; and the Award Ceremonies to honor the achievements and celebrate the success of individuals and organizations from around the Muslim world. The programs of the Muslim World Biz cover a wide range of sectors including Islamic banking and finance, manufacturing, trade and investment, higher education, Islamic tourism, food and beverages, healthcare, agriculture, fashion and lifestyle. The profile of participants includes senior government officials, ambassadors and high commissioners, CEOs, entrepreneurs, vice-chancellors, and business professionals. Over the years, the outcomes of the Muslim World Biz have been overwhelming and progressive in a way that is reflected in the expansion of the event itself, and also in the increasing participation of individuals and organizations from across the globe, beyond the 57 OIC member countries.

What is your outlook for the year ahead and what will be your main strategic objectives?

We will continue to do what we have been doing for more than 15 years. We believe that there are many opportunities out there, and we also acknowledge the existence of several challenges facing the development of the Islamic economy. Therefore, our objective is to continue to expand the Muslim World Biz to accommodate more participants and also to offer new programs. Together with our strategic partners and supporters, we are going to enrich the programs of our platform so that each of the OIC member countries could benefit from the outcomes of the event every year. Another important goal of the OIC International Business Centre is to promote the opportunities within the Muslim world to other individuals and organizations from non-Islamic countries. We believe that we all can live together in peace and harmony.