Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Muslim Entrepreneurs The Focus at Jakarta Event

An annual fair co-sponsored by the OIC provides Muslim artisans, designers and small business owners with an opportunity to showcase their products.
Dini Aryani, an assistant designer, has created a fashion line -- with the brand name MEIN -- which he believes will appeal to Muslims in Indonesia and around the world. Now all he needs is a way to promote it.
The third annual Muslim World Business & Investment Zone (MWBIZ), held last month in Jakarta, provided just such an opportunity, he says.The event helped consumers "increase their knowledge about the Muslim world today, such as the latest fashion and cuisine", he told Khabar Southeast Asia. Muslim countries should continue to gather in the future. Each Muslim country has its own unique characteristics with its own nuance," he added.
The Organisation of Islamic Co-operation's (OIC) International Business Centre sponsored the trade fair with the help of the Jakarta Chamber of Commerce and Industry. The goal, according to organisers, was to promote investment opportunities and forge stronger economic integration within the Islamic business community.
"We hope this event could be utilised by entrepreneurs to seek trade and investment partners, as well as explore possible markets," said Eddy Kuntadi, Chairman of Jakarta Chamber of Commerce and Industry.
He described the fair as a "place for interaction between governments, corporate and business leaders" and "an effective catalyst for the progress of developing economy."
According to Minister of Industry M. S. Hidayat, OIC member countries have a rich investment potential – but one that has yet to be realised fully. He said local businesses should try to make the most of the opportunities.
"Indonesia's entrepreneurs, especially in Jakarta, should exploit potential markets in Muslim countries that are not having (an economic) crisis," he said.
The MWBIZ exhibition featured 600 booths offering products from 35 different OIC countries. According to Kuntadi, around 70,000 visitors attended the show – sampling food, trying on clothes, accessories or shoes, and enjoying arts and crafts.
For Patricia Eryanti, a crafts entrepreneur, the event allowed visitors to "broaden their knowledge of the Muslim world and know more about other Muslim countries."
"The products offered here are not just for Muslims. There are also products that could be purchased by non-Muslims," she told Khabara.
Shofiya Khaeroni, owner of the Shokha boutique shop, voiced similar hopes. "This event can introduce Indonesian fashion, food and other aspects to Muslims globally," she told Khabar.

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