The World Islamic Economic Forum (WIEF) opened on Tuesday (October 29) in London, the first non-Muslim city to host the event.

World leaders attending included the Patron of the WIEF Foundation and Prime Minister of Malaysia, Najib Razak, President of Afghanistan Hamid Karzai and Pakistan's Prime Minister Nawaz Sherif, among many others.

The WIEF was officially opened with a speech by Razak who told the audience that the event was rapidly becoming a significant platform for the exchange of ideas between the Muslim and non-Muslim world.

"And so it is fitting that this is the first place outside the Muslim world to host the World Islamic Economic Forum. That is a testament, not just to the openness which fuels the city's success but also to the forum's growing influence," he said.

"This is fast becoming a serious platform, a meaningful platform for the exchange of ideas between the Muslim and the non-Muslim world," he continued.

Razak's speech focused on the importance of the 'gender dimension' where he stressed the importance of integrating women into the global economy.

"It is time to put women at the heart of our global growth story," he said.

"All countries stand to benefit from the economic empowerment of women. For ageing societies, it represents a welcome boost to the work force; for the poorest countries, positive impacts on education, health and development; and for the developed world, productivity gains and rebalancing of growth. Studies show that economies are healthier when women participate more fully," he continued.

The World Islamic Economic Forum is hosting its ninth annual conference.

Presented by Adam Justice