Oct 2009 Edition: After a long break, we are back with a series of inspiring features that reflect the growing sophistication and diversification of economies in OIC (Organization of Islamic Conference) countries.
We lead off with an overview of leading business innovations from the largest Islamic country - Indonesia. The innovations are compiled by the Business Innovation Center (BIC)at Indonesia covering products from food, energy, health & medicine, ICT, defense, transportation and other sectors. Amidst the global economic slowdown, Indonesia is expected to have the fastest recovery in 2010 from amongst the OIC countries. With a stabilizing and developing democracy led by its charismatic and popular President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono, Indonesia is certainly a key market to follow in the OIC.
The other big story from the OIC markets has been acquisition by Yahoo of Arab world's largest online portal - Maktoob.com. The transaction has been reported to be valued at $100 million. This is a significant moment in the history for Arab based online ventures and is sure to draw much attention to this sector of the future. We present an interview with Maktoob.com's CEO Mr. Samih Toukan.
Keeping with the technology theme, Expert contributor Ezzeddine Jaadi looks at the growing sub-sector of IT service providers uniquely catering the Islamic Finance industry. Islamic Finance continues to grow globally riding on the growing sentiment and demands of Muslim consumers. One major Muslim consumer market is the approximately 6 million strong American Muslim market. However, given its size and affluence the market is still being severely undeserved. We look at this untapped American Muslim market and profile an upcoming conference (American Muslim Consumer Conference (AMCC), October 31st, 2009 in New Brunswick, NJ, USA) addressing this growing market segment in the US.
Covering the overall challenges and opportunities across the OIC markets, Expert contributor Mr Arif Zaman discusses leadership development challenges for the Ummah - OIC countries as well as the Muslim diaspora. However, there are indeed various OIC countries showing strong leadership in various Industries. We look at the growing Pharmaceuticals industry in Bangladesh by profiling Beximco Pharma which is leading Bangladeshi pharmaceutical exports. Another key OIC country - Saudi Arabia has been making strong progressive economic strides. It has recently jumped up in the rankings of the Global Competitiveness Report by the World Economic Forum moving up to 24th rank. Also, its launch of the impressive science and technology research driven University KAUST has been an encouraging development. As many businesses explore opportunities in Saudi Arabia, we review a book that focuses on the business environment in Saudi Arabia - Business and Management Environment in Saudi Arabia by Author Abbas J. Ali.
We hope you enjoy this edition. We look forward to your feedback.