It’s been a tough year, and we have read plenty of grim stories about the bear financial market, yet, have you ever considered how the global Islamic economy has fared amidst the meltdown? Because there might be other areas of investment you have yet to consider.

Over the past 7 years, the Muslim world has been measuring its impact by formulating a document known as the State of the Global Islamic Economy (SGIE). The annual SGIE report is the go-to guide designed for savvy investors, entrepreneurs and industry executives for everything Islamic and Halal-related.  

It certainly makes good financial sense to take advantage of the ethical needs of the world’s 1.8 billion consumers. As globally the report highlights that in 2018, $2.2 trillion was spent across lifestyle sectors whilst, Islamic finance assets totalled $2.5 trillion. 

In Australia, Muslim accounts for a meagre 0.5 million, yet, Australia ranks amongst the 17th best globally, according to the Global Islamic Economy Index. Australia is also the 9th top exporter, with food being our top export to Muslim-majority countries. Topping the list is Indonesia, being Australia’s largest trading partner for meat and livestock.

To better understand what this means for Australia, MECA Collective, an open collaboration of startups, entrepreneurs and investors have teamed up with Crescent Wealth to co-host an online launch of the report at 6:20 pm on Monday 14 December 2020, in partnership with DinarStandard, SalaamGateway and the Dubai Islamic Economy Development Centre.

Illustration: MECA Collective has teamed up with Crescent Wealth to co-host an online launch of the SGIE report on 14 December 2020. Source: Facebook.

Presenting at the event will be Mr Abdullah Al-Awar of the Dubai Islamic Economic Development Centre, Dr Syed Farook and Professor Talal Yassine of Crescent Wealth, and several local panel guests including Zulfiye Tufa (founder of ModMarkit), Calisha Bennett (founder of Developing Diamonds) and Peter Gould (founder of Gould Studio). The event will be held online and is free for all to attend, however, registration is essential (see details below).

The Australian launch follows a series of worldwide events broadcast live from over 12 countries around the world including the UAE, Indonesia, Malaysia, Morocco, Spain, Nigeria, India, Singapore, USA, UK, Turkey and Japan.

Co-founder of MECA Collective and Australian-based Corporate M&A and Venture Capital Lawyer, Zain Ismail Kazi, explains the relevance of the report and how to interpret it.

“The SGIE 20/21 report showcases an interesting, and often overlooked perspective on Muslim life; how we, as a global Ummah [or community], earn and spend our money,” explained Mr Kazi.

Not just exclusively for Muslims, ethically oriented products are proving to have consumer reach far beyond the Muslim market. As the SGIE 20/21 report notes, ethical superannuation funds in Australia are emerging as serious competitors to the major players in the growing finance and investment sector. There are two major Islamic financial institutions, Crescent Wealth and MCCA with investment assets totalling more than $2 billion.

“In its 8th year, SGIE 20/21 report is a publication that we can be proud of as an Ummah; it’s beautifully designed and presented, hosts a wide range of qualified contributors from across the globe, and contains over 200 pages of thoroughly researched insights, interviews and commentary. For me, it inspires thinking from a different [i.e. economic] perspective about how we, as Muslims, can draw principles from our vast tradition and apply them to positively contribute to the world in which we live,” said Mr Kazi. 

Illustration: The SGIE 20/21 report also features successful female entrepreneurs  and provides a ‘Gen Z’ perspective on finance from Muslims across the globe. Source: ABC.

It is hoped that industry executives, investors and entrepreneurs will utilise this report and ask themselves how they can play their part in decision-making in the global economy, particularly towards meeting the UN Sustainable Development Goals. 

“Arguably, the most interesting part of the SGIE 20/21 report is the focus on entrepreneurship and future opportunities. The Islamic economy is growing and the opportunities available to imagine, design and create new, ethically inclined and inspired products and services that serve the global community, are seemingly boundless” expressed Mr Kazi.

The differences between Islamic and other financial sectors are the faith-based ethics that prohibits investing in ventures with compounding interest products and industries that rely on sin stocks (i.e. weapon manufacturing, pornography, alcohol, cigarettes and gambling).

Indeed, socially responsible form of investing and ethical consumerism are also significant elements highlighted in the report.

“Consumers are inherently ethical, enforcing their values on brands, as evidenced by the recent boycotts of Nike, and the ban by Armani on the use of animal fur, with 66% of consumers surveyed globally by Nielsen willing to pay more for ethical products,” states the SGIE 20/21 report.  

Therefore, the SGIE report offers Islamic and Halal-related opportunities for new and existing businesses to expand by inviting governments and investors to the table.

To register for the Australian launch event, visit bit.ly/SGIE2020.

Download your free copy of the State of the Global Islamic Economy Report 2020/21 from SalaamGateway at https://salaamgateway.com/reports/state-of-the-global-islamic-economy-202021-report-2.

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