This year's WHF strategically moved to bring together Islamic Finance and the Halal Industry into one integrated Halal Economy. The convergence of these two industries forms a strong economic platform built on a set of shared values that will play an increasingly strategic role in shaping global markets in the coming decade.
Abdalhamid Evans, Director of the World Halal Forum, commented:
"This year's World Halal Forum was a new milestone for the global Halal industry. We have moved past the discussions about standards development and slaughter methods and addressed many of the wider strategic growth issues in the Halal marketplace. The initial steps towards the convergence of the Halal and Islamic Finance industries open up the market from both sides, which will be much bigger than most people realize. This is what thought leadership is all about, and this is why the WHF is the most important Halal sector forum in the world."
This year's World Halal Forum featured cutting-edge speakers in both Islamic Finance and the Halal sectors, giving birth to a whole new direction in the progress of the Islamic economic sector. The line-up of speakers featured industry thought-leaders such as Rushdi Siddiqui (Global Head, Islamic Finance & OIC Countries, Thomson Reuters), Rafe Haneef (Executive Director & CEO, HSBC Amanah Malaysia Berhad), David Smith (Chief Executive, Global Futures & Foresight), Fazal Bahardeen (Founder & CEO, Crescentrating Pte Ltd), Jalel Aossey (Director, Midamar Corporation), Rafi-uddin Shikoh (CEO, DinarStandard), Navid Akhtar (Managing Director, Gazelle Media), Joohi Tahir (VP Marketing & Sales, Crescent Foods Inc.), and Zahed Amanullah (Director, American Halal Corporation).
Rafe Haneef, CEO of HSBC Amanah Malaysia, commented, "If we are going to move towards a Halal economy, we have to take a holistic approach; the whole cycle, the whole chain, has to be Halal from the production to the financing."
David Smith, Chief Executive of Global Futures & Foresight, UK, said: "The convergence of the Halal food industry and Islamic Finance is a bigger issue. It's about people running their lives, living their lives according to their values. For the Muslim population, according to Halal, Shariah-compliance, Tayyib...tied to the Qur'an. The important thing here is it isn't one or two industries converging, it's 10 and 20 industries converging;"