The QI booth at the KL Convention Centre


Since 2007, the QI Group has been in partnership with the Commonwealth Business Council (CBC), to sponsor the Commonwealth Business Forum (CBF), a high-ranking international business summit that brings together hundreds of government and business leaders from all over the Commonwealth and beyond. This year, we had the opportunity to host a CBC event in Malaysia, the operational Headquarters of the QI Group.  This much awaited event, known as the Global Business Leaders Forum (GBLF), took place at the Kuala Lumpur Convention Centre on 22-23 November 2010 with QI Group as the principal sponsor. The forum was opened by The Honourable Dato’ Sri Mohd Najib Tun Abdul Razak, the Prime Minister of Malaysia.

What is the Global Business Leaders Forum?

GBLF is a forum for high level networking between Commonwealth and international leaders from government and business. This year’s forum was organised by the Commonwealth Business Council in association with the Asian Strategy & Leadership Institute (ASLI) and supported by the Malaysian Investment Development Authority (MIDA) and the Government of Malaysia. The specific aim of the forum was to track leading edge thinking on new business models and trends in global markets, and provide a high level platform for business-to-business networking. With strong delegations from Commonwealth countries, each bringing a regional as well as national dimension to the forum, the event served as an effective platform to address both trends in the global economy and in specific economic sectors. Organised in plenary sessions, it focused broadly on the following topics:-

  • Driving Trade and Investment Flows between Commonwealth and Asia
  • PPP for Infrastructure
  • Entrepreneurship, Skills and Leadership
  • Creating a Sustainable Energy Mix
  • Islamic Products & Finance
  • Transformation and Innovation for Global Growth
  • New Technology: Innovations from Emerging Markets
Vijay Eswaran with Dato’ Sri Mohd Najib Tun Abdul Razak, the Prime Minister of Malaysia

QI Group Executive Chairman Mr. Vijay Eswaran was among the many prominent business leaders who addressed the two-day forum. Other prominent speakers included The Honourable Tan Sri Rafidah Aziz, Former Minister of International Trade & Industry, Malaysia; Mr Vijay Poonoosamy, Vice President International & Public Affairs, Etihad Airways, UAE; Mr Nicholas Tan Gung Wu, Vice President Energy Service Fossil, Siemens Malaysia Sdn Bhd;Tan Tan Sri Dr. Mohd Munir Abdul Majid, Chairman of Malaysia Airlines; Datuk Dr Rebecca Fatima Sta Maria, Deputy Secretary-General, Ministry of International Trade & Industry, Malaysia;  and Mr. James Mulwana, Chairman of Standard Bank, Uganda and Senior Board Member of the CBC.

QI’s Participation in GBLF 2010

Making in-roads into the heart of Africa

In conjunction with this prestigious event, the QI Group facilitated the visit of the Prime Minister of Rwanda, Rt. Hon Bernard Makuza, who lead a delegation of Rwandan business leaders and government representatives to the Forum. In a special address delivered at the opening ceremony, Mr Makuza demonstrated the increasing importance of South-South relationships.  As the newest country to join the Commonwealth in November 2009, Rwanda aims to demonstrate the readily available investment opportunities to an international audience of emerging market investors, at a time when traditional investors in the West are tightening their belts.

The QI Group, which has significant business interests in Rwanda, also co-hosted a special luncheon with CBC, in honour of the PM. The aim of the lunch was to bring together business and political leaders from Commonwealth member countries, to discuss the investment opportunities in Rwanda, with hope that it will allow the government to expand its network of relationships created by the Commonwealth to encourage inward investment.

Lead by directors and senior managers of the QI Group, the PM and his delegation were also taken on a special visit to the QI Group’s newly acquired headquarters in Malaysia, located at PJ8.


Prime Minister of Rwanda, Rt. Hon Bernard Makuza, visiting the QI Group’s operational Headquarters at PJ8

Vijay Eswaran Speaks on Trade and Investment

A visionary leader who left  a promising career in the West to build his own business empire in South East Asia, Mr Vijay Eswaran, the Executive Chairman of the QI Group, has earned an admirable reputation on the international business front. This year, he was invited to speak at the opening plenary sessions of the GBLF, and to chair a session on the second day.

On the first day, after the opening ceremony, Vijay Eswaran was a panellist on a session titled – Malaysia: Driving Trade and Investment Flows between the Commonwealth and Asia

At this session, Vijay Eswaran explained that e-commerce was the driving force behind the success of the QI Group, which has made inroads from Central Asia to even remote areas of Africa.

He went on to suggest that Malaysians should utilise the Internet extensively to market their products and services to every “nook and corner” of the world, as has been done by millions of e-commerce companies worldwide.

“The rules of business have changed with the advent of the Internet. Goods and services from wherever you are can now reach wherever you want them to. More Malaysians should maximise the use of the Internet to do business across borders,” he told audience.

Mr. Eswaran strongly believes that this is the millennium of emerging markets where Asia will be taking the lead. He pointed out that for individuals, small-and medium-scale entrepreneurs and industries, the Internet could become a prime facilitator for pushing business growth.

Vijay Eswaran speaks on Trade and Investment at the plenary session

On the second day, two important sessions were merged into one due to lack of time and Mr. Eswaran chaired this combined plenary session that covered two important topics. One, a subject close to his heart: Transformation and Innovation for Global Growth – Learning from Asian Companies and the second:Islamic Products and Finance: Emerging International Brand.

Due to the unique nature of the combined session, the discussions and questions from the audience provided a very insightful view into the relationship between not just the emergence of the Asian economy, but the beauty of Islamic Finance and banking systems that are becoming increasingly popular with investors around the world.

ith the world economy having moved from a bipolar to a multi polar environment in which the new dynamic is focused around more flexible and diverse economic partnerships, the role of the G20 group of countries have become increasingly important to global economic management. The QI Group is proud to have partnered with CBC to help make this high level international business forum a success and is looking forward to participating in the Commonwealth Business Forum 2011 which will be hosted in Perth, Australia from 25-27 October. The CBF 2011 will precede the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting and is expected to attract up to 1,000 delegates from across the world.