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Bermuda can benefit from WIEF exposure

November 12, 2013

Dear Sir,

I recently attended the WIEF forum in London attended by our premier, Craig Canonnier, among at least 33 world leaders and many influential movers' and shakers from the global financial and legal sectors; activist; planners and thinkers from across many Muslim nations along with specialised enthusiast. The event hosted many of the leaders as speakers and then there were several panel discussions during the 3 day event. The Gala dinner hosted Prince Charles as the keynote speaker.

This was the first World Islamic Economic Forum held outside of the block of countries considered as Muslim populates. As a historic event it was more than ideological it was a real meeting of persons and countries with real discussions about the challenges of the world moving forward beyond the current economic difficulties precipitated in particular by the crash of 2008 and generally by the challenges of either investing in modern green technology and simultaneously the economic impact of the continued reliance on oil and coal as the bases for energy.

There was discussions about education and real and applied role of education as a coefficient to enhance national output and even to define the civility of a nation. The theme of the conference to a large extent could have been dedicated towards education to be seen as the eternal tool to make a true human being and discover and aid the world to reach solutions for successive generations moving forward.

There were too many speeches from world class leaders to mention in one article, therefore I will limit my commentary with no prejudice. Our premier Craig Cannonier gave a relevant speech about Bermuda and its efficient regulatory environment alongside our tourist destination he sold both aspects of legal and social and our favourable location to this prestigious audience. He done well and was received well widely by the delegates, many of whom never heard of Bermuda but knew us only by the infamous Bermuda Triangle.

The speech of the Malaysian Prime Minister was particularly impressive, he spoke beyond the allotted time but almost every minute of his speech appreciated as he emphasised the importance of women in the workplace and corporate environment. He led an impressive argument to encourage any drive to educate women around the world and the benefit of doing so. Prime Minister Cameron was also impressive as he clearly defined his mission to make Britain the gateway to the world and the importance of having an open jurisdiction.

I think from my own impression Prince Charles's speech on the state of the world and the global need for management earth's resources so as not to deprive future generations right, was highly intellectual but keenly relevant as he challenged us to query where and whether there is the financial means in the world to revert to the science needed to prevent us consuming ourselves beyond the point of sustainability. His speech underpinned the relevance of Islamic financing and if there was any speech that clarified the Quranic position and moral challenge of contemporary civilisation to hold back on usury (interest) and move to an economic format that is designed to assist humanity and not bent on institutional profit, it was his. I thought Prince Charles was Muslim and by my Quranic definition he is.

Bermuda stands to gain from its exposure to WIEF, it's one of the good products fostered by the PLP administration. In my opinion the timing is good for the OBA and Bermuda. My hope is that our own xenophobia does not become an obstacle preventing us entertaining and moving as pioneers towards the kinds of economic partnerships that in truth the best formula particularly in our current economic circumstance.

KHALID WASI

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Published November 14, 2013 at 8:00 am (Updated November 13, 2013 at 6:30 pm)

Bermuda can benefit from WIEF exposure

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