Business Times sees a prime opportunity for Malaysia to promote its brand amid the hype and development boom surrounding FIFA’s decision to award the 2022 World Cup to the Gulf state of Qatar.

For one, it shows that international bodies like FIFA are prepared to make inroads into new and non-traditional (to them) markets, giving hope to other emerging Muslim countries like Malaysia and Turkey who both have desires to stage major events of their own (and in the case of Kuala Lumpur’s Commonwealth Games, have already done so).

Qatar’s success itself presents opportunities for developers and, importantly, financial service providers. With a rare 12 year run-up to the big event, there is plenty of time to promote Islamic finance with a coherent and appealing message. BT suggests a proper industry body be established immediately, consisting of industry stakeholders to “create a blueprint for the future beyond screening, structuring and products.”

Financing the new stadiums and related tourist infrastructure is another chance for Malaysian banks to go global, competing with large Gulf-based Islamic banks and marketing their expertise and track record to investors and developers. Malaysian banks should also look at securing naming rights to one of the stadiums, and the local US$640 billion halal industry needs to capitalize on the Muslim world’s first truly global event. Phew. After all that, there’s the issue of whether Malaysia’s national team can make it to the finals…

source & article: Business Times