|30 October, 2018

Global Islamic economy enters new phase of growth

Population growth and increased spending power are driving up demand for new Shariah-compliant products and services.

Saudi Riyal rolled in sacks back on the table Islamic economy concept.

Saudi Riyal rolled in sacks back on the table Islamic economy concept.

Getty Images/ imran kadir photography

The dynamics of the global Islamic economy are changing rapidly as disruptive technologies such as blockchain, fintech and artificial intelligence make their mark on halal industries and create new business opportunities.

At the same time, awareness about halal standards and certification continues to grow as more companies increasingly target Muslim consumers in various parts of the world.

Several important factors are expected to add momentum behind the global Islamic economy and boost its value from $2.1 trillion in 2017 to $3 trillion by 2023, according to latest State of the Global Islamic Economy Report from Thomson Reuters.

The world's Muslim population is projected to increase by 35 per cent to reach 2.2 billion by 2030 - a growth rate that is twice as fast as the global average. This predominantly young and diverse group of consumers is increasingly demanding products and services which utilise innovative smart technologies and solutions. These trends are creating a wealth of growth opportunities for businesses and startups around the world.

The scope of Shariah-compliant products and services has broadened and expanded considerably in recent years. Companies operating within Islamic economy sectors are getting more attention as new halal concepts are brought to the market. A growing number of startups are creating new solutions that are diversifying the halal economy. Islamic finance remains the biggest contributor to the global Islamic economy, while the halal food and halal tourism markets are experiencing robust growth fuelled by a growing middle class and increased spending power in many Muslim-majority countries.

As the world's largest and most comprehensive forum dedicated to all aspects of the Islamic economy, the Global Islamic Economy Summit (GIES) in Dubai has become an important platform for industry leaders and stakeholders to collaborate, share knowledge, and explore new areas of opportunity that are emerging within halal industries. With a high calibre of participants who include heads of state, ministers, policymakers and prominent CEOs, GIES 2018 is addressing important matters and trends that are having a major impact on the sector.

We all have a duty to ensure that we explore every aspect of the Islamic economy fully to facilitate its long-term growth. Under the theme "A Shared Future", participants at GIES are joining a global conversation about important issues that are impacting various industry players such as social impact entrepreneurship, responsible finance and skills needed for the Fourth Industrial Revolution, with the aim of formulating a framework that can ensure the Islamic economy's sustainable growth and competitiveness.

- Majid Saif Al Ghurair is Chairman of Dubai Chamber of Commerce and Industry,Board Member of Dubai Islamic Economy Development Centre

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