العدد الحالي: اكتوبر 2017       اختر عدد :
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كلمة المجلس العام

Abdelilah BELATIK

Secretary General of CIBAFI

Welcome to the 59th edition of the Global Islamic Economics Magazine (GIEM).  As always, it is our pleasure to keep you updated with the current updates and prospects in the global Islamic financial services industry. The GIEM also serves as the platform for CIBAFI to keep our stakeholders informed about our activities and key initiatives.

Aligned with its role as advocate of the Islamic Financial Services Industry (IFSI) and as part of our first Strategic Objective of Policy, Regulatory Advocacy, CIBAFI provided comments to the Accounting & Auditing Organization for Islamic Financial Institutions (AAOIFI) on its Exposure Draft on Financial Accounting Standard No. 29: Sukuk Issuance.

As part of its Strategic Objective of increasing awareness and information sharing through collaborations with industry stakeholders, CIBAFI in collaboration with the Islamic Research and Training Institute (IRTI) launched the third Roundtable Meeting of the Directors of Operations and Investments of Islamic Financial Institutions (IFIs), with the theme: “Bringing Islamic Investment of IFIs to the Next Frontier”.  The meeting was held on 22-23 March 2017, in the Kingdom of Bahrain, and gathered nearly 40 C-Level and Senior Executives of Islamic Investment and Operations from MENA, GCC, South East Asia, South Asia, Central Asia, Africa (Sub-Saharan Africa), and Europe to explore means to strengthen private banking and investment capabilities of IFIs.

CIBAFI held another Roundtable Meeting in the Kingdom of Bahrain on 2nd April 2017, themed: “Impact of the Legal Framework on Islamic Financial Services Industry (IFSI) Development”. The meeting was kindly hosted by Al Baraka Banking Group at its Headquarters in Manama. Meeting saw presentation of research papers from six countries’ experiences, evaluating and understanding the impact of the legal frameworks on IFSI development. Specific country case studies were presented on experiences of Bahrain, Malaysia, Saudi Arabia, Sudan, Tunisia, and the United Kingdom.

I am pleased to share with you that CIBAFI is all set to hold CIBAFI Global Forum 2017 in Amman, Jordan on 8 - 9 May 2017. Organised under the patronage of the Central Bank of Jordan (CBJ), CIBAFI’s second Global Forum themed: “Essential Renovation of Banking Practices Towards Resilience and Shared Prosperity” will highlight some of the most important transformation agendas for today’s Islamic finance industry, covering discussions on the global regulatory developments and macroeconomic outlook of the global Islamic finance industry,  United Nations (UN) Development Goals and Islamic finance, Branding for IFIs, Leadership & Strategy, Leveraging the industry growth with technology and innovation, and Future of Money.

With increasing focus on social and sustainability criteria in today’s financial world, there is an equally increasing need for awareness and information sharing on ways and means to implement them. CIBAFI acknowledges that there is a strong parallel between the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and Maqasid al Shariah, which form the basis for Islamic finance industry that aims to create a sustainable, equitable, and socially responsible financial industry. Islamic finance with its precepts and principles has a firm foundation and an important contributing role to play in achieving these mutual goals.

Islamic finance with these mutual goals has the potential to play a transformative role in supporting the implementation of these SDGs which require exploring newer approaches in the light of current realities and to strengthen areas of partnerships among the financial industry stakeholders. There is also a need to define, plan, engage, and deliver on these goals. As an industry, Islamic finance helps stimulate economic activity and entrepreneurship towards tackling poverty, inequality, and promote fairness, financial and social stability, and achieve a comprehensive objective of sustainable development.

CIBAFI Global Forum, this year will discuss among others, areas of Islamic finance that are aligned with the global development goals such as re-distributive channels such as Waqf, Qard Hasan, Zakat institutions and deliberate on strategies that play and an important role in social protection and transformation. There is a lot to be discussed on the matter of Maqasid Shariah and its interlinkages with the UN development goals, which are yet to be unlocked by the industry in achieving its goal of being socially responsible.

Other important areas that the Forum will deliberate on are the disruptions technology and future of money. Growing interest and use of technology and digitalisation in the financial world has a potential to impact and change how the money is used. Newer modes of value exchange systems and digitalised currencies are slowly taking the place of conventional paper money. Emerging technologies are attracting the attention of regulators and other financial stakeholders, and there is an increasing desire to take a slice of the banking, payments, market, and this desire is expanding at a rapid pace.

To ensure industry’s continued growth it is important for the Islamic finance stakeholders to embrace the emerging trends in financial technology and digital transformation to lead and leverage on its inherent strengths. Stakeholders must realise that digital revolution has a potential to radically transform the way financial activities, including retail banking, investment management, takaful, wealth management, financing, cash management etc. are currently performed. With digital wallets to cryptocurrencies and blockchain and beyond, it is up to the IFSI stakeholders to benefit from these dynamic technological innovations to leverage the industry growth.

CIBAFI as the leading voice of the IFSI will continue to provide inputs to sync IFSI with important global agendas, and facilitate awareness and flow of information to its stakeholders for the development of the industry. Stay tuned!