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ZHAW Senior Lecturer at the 2019 Kuala Lumpur Summit

At the invitation of Malaysia’s Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad, several heads of state and government met at the 2019 KL Summit last December. Among them were President Rouhani of Iran and President Erdogan of Turkey. Khaldoun Dia-Eddine, a senior lecturer at ZHAW, was invited to present his research on the digital revolution and Muslim countries.

The annual summit in Malaysia’s capital city aims to unify and coordinate efforts to create a politico-economic bloc of emerging countries able to compete in an environment dominated by large trading blocs of globalized countries profiting from technological progress. Khaldoun Dia-Eddine, a senior lecturer at the ZHAW International Management Institute, was invited to this prestigious event as a speaker, where he presented his research on how Muslim emerging countries could benefit from the momentum of the digital transformation revolution.

Dia-Eddine used this occasion to present his soon to be published paper on how Muslim emerging countries can make the most of the digital transformation revolution. Despite the historic role of Islamic civilization in advancing human knowledge, he explained, the Islamic world has neither contributed nor benefitted from revolutions such as printing, steamships, the service revolution, or the technological transformation.


The host of the KL Summit, Malaysia’s Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad (third from the right), together with panelists. Among them: ZHAW Senior Lecturer Khaldoun Dia-Eddine (first from the right)

A key aspect of technological development is the ability to reach critical mass regarding economic power in terms of resources and customers, competitiveness, and synergies. To this end, Dia-Eddine proposed a common framework for the countries participating in the summit, which “should be social, political, and legal, giving the chance to forge a system of open access and opportunity,” as a prerequisite for actual technological transformation. He provided further insights into the framework he had developed, stressing potential issues before suggesting implementation through a commission and concluding with 10 key success factors.

During the panel’s Q&A session, Dia-Eddine had the opportunity to further elaborate on some aspects of his presentation. The Malaysian Prime Minister, who also attended the panel, congratulated Dia-Eddine on the quality of his contribution.

The other participates in this a high-level panel have been:

  • Igor Ashmanov, a Russian entrepreneur, managing partner and founder of Ashmanov & Partners and Co-founder of the Internet Research Agency (IRA)
  • The Hon. Haji Mohamad bin Sabu – Malaysia’s Minister of Defense
  • E. Mohamad Javad Azari Jahromi – Minister of Information and Communications Technology of Islamic republic of Iran
  • Datuk Dr Mohd Abdul Karim, founder and major owner of Serba Dinamik, a listed company in Malaysia.