H.E. Rasheed Mohammed Al Maraj, Governor of the Central Bank of Bahrain, inaugurated the 21st annual edition of the World Islamic Banking Conference (WIBC 2014). Baroness Sayeeda Warsi of the UK House of Lords delivers a special keynote address on the UK story of Islamic finance. Industry pioneer, Professor Datuk Rifaat Ahmed Abdel Karim engaged in an onstage interview on the past, present and future of Islamic finance.
Convened under the patronage of HRH Prince Khalifa Bin Salman Al Khalifa, the Prime Minister of the Kingdom of Bahrain and held with the official support of the Central Bank of Bahrain, the event was attended by industry leaders from more than 50 countries representing more than 300 international and regional organizations.
The main conference was officially inaugurated today with an opening keynote address by H.E. Rasheed Mohammed Al Maraj, Governor of the Central Bank of Bahrain, while Baroness Sayeeda Warsi of the House of Lords, who has been a key driving force in the progress made by the UK in Islamic finance, delivered a special keynote address. Other keynote speakers included Nurlan Kussainov, Deputy Governor, National Bank of Kazakhstan; and Jaseem Ahmed, Secretary-General of the Islamic Financial Services Board (IFSB), who addressed key issues related to the strength, stability and enhancing international linkages between Islamic finance jurisdictions.
H.E. Rasheed Mohammed Al Maraj noted that, “The transformation of global financial markets in recent years has resulted in a new paradigm which has challenged banking institutions to re-think their business strategies and models. Given the continued rapid global expansion of the Islamic finance industry and the increasing inter-linkages between the key international jurisdictions, Islamic financial institutions are also experiencing a major phase of transformation. The Kingdom of Bahrain and the Central Bank of Bahrain (CBB) have been a first-mover in terms of its support for the development of the Islamic finance industry. Today, Bahrain is an internationally respected Islamic finance hub that continues to set new standards and initiatives to propel the industry forward in a stable and resilient manner.”
The Industry Leaders’ Power Debate included Basel Al-Haj-Issa, Chief Executive Officer, Ibdar Bank; Badlisyah Abdul Ghani, Chief Executive Officer, CIMB Islamic Bank; Hisham Alrayes, Chief Executive Officer, Gulf Finance House; Afaq Khan, Chief Executive Officer, Standard Chartered Saadiq; and Toby O’Connor, Chief Executive Officer of the Islamic Bank of Asia.
Badlisyah Abdul Ghani reinforced the importance of building international linkages, “With the growing internationalisation of the Islamic finance industry, it has become increasingly vital for the key Islamic finance markets to build stronger relationships with each other as well as to create in-roads for business networking opportunities and cross-regional transactions.”
Toby O’Connor further underlined the need for global connectivity, “As Islamic finance continues to expand its geographic reach and depth, it is encouraging to see new opportunities for the industry to participate in international transactions across jurisdictions to help foster new business relationships between the key growth markets for Islamic finance.”
Originally published on www.cpifinancial.net