Zahid Urges Malaysian Firms to Expand Into OIC Countries

in the Prime Minister’s Department Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi
Wednesday urged local firms involved in Islamic based businesses to
expand their business to the member countries of the Organisation of
Islamic Conference (OIC).

Islamic business and financial market offers an alternative venue for
Malaysian companies in the midst of the challenges brought by the
current global financial crisis, he said in his keynote address at the
launch of the International Islamic Hub in i-City, the 29-hectare
digital township here.

view of this, it is timely for all business sectors to look into the
possibility of using Islamic instruments and Islamic financial
institution services in place of the present conventional financial
instrument and banking,” Dr Ahmad Zahid said.

said the recent global financial meltdown had illustrated the need for
a system based on profit sharing principle, where both parties in a
contract are subjected to potential losses and returns, something which
is underlined under the Islamic business principles.

Under the Islamic system, both parties would have a win-win situation as losses would not burden only one party, he pointed out.

said many of the OIC economies were showing strong fundamental growth
potential and were increasingly becoming part of the global emerging
markets, while a variety of existing and new forums have been
established to promote OIC based corporate interaction and to help
leverage trade opportunities.

recently organised the World Islamic Tourism Conference and Expo 2008
and played its role in the establishment of the International Centre
for Education in Islamic Finance in this country to overcome the
shortage of finance staff with Syariah knowledge.

Dr Ahmad Zaid Wednesday also commended i-City for taking the initiative to engage with the OIC community.

strategic alliance with Al Rajhi Banking Group in its cybercentre
office development is a reflection of the opportunities that are
available with the OIC member countries,” he said.

said Malaysia was also unique in its promotion of Islamic financial
products as it marketed them both in the English and Bahasa Malaysia
language, and where the non-Muslims understood them, unlike other
countries where the products were promoted mostly in Arabic.

Ahmad Zahid also said he had advised Islamic scholars here not to use
difficult Arabic words like Bai Bithamin Ajil in promoting Islamic
based loans but to simplify the terms to BBA for example, so as not to
“scare” the people.

also called on Muslims and non-Muslims to do away with their
differences and work together to promote Islamic financial products as
one did not have to be a Muslim to promote Islamic products.

the director of I-Bhd, Eu Hong Chew, said in his presentation Wednesday
that the company has set aside two hectares from its total development
area of i-City for the international Islamic hub.

hub will consist of an Information Communication Technology Centre for
OIC countries, Islamic Financial Education Centre, Support Centre for
Halal Product Logistic and Islamic Resource Centre.

said the centres will help in the development of Islamic knowledge
based economy as they would provide cost effective operations and
provide the environment for innovation of new ideas in the development
of Islamic business and finance sectors.

The centres are expected to cost around RM800 million and their completion would be between three and four years.

which is developed by I-Bhd provides high speed broadband connectivity
at 20 megabit per second, and its features include a backup power
supply system, data centre and fibre optics interconnectivity among the
buildings. Among its other facilities will be a shopping mall, hotel
and office towers.