Take the reins to bolster Islamic Finance’s global leadership

Alfaro Recoba

Kuala Lumpur – The Global Islamic Finance Forum 2022 (GIFF2022) will be held from 5th to 6th October in Kuala Lumpur, bringing together Islamic finance leaders, entrepreneurs, and innovators across the globe to discuss the latest developments, opportunities and trends which are shaping the current and future path of Islamic finance.

GIFF2022 is organised by the Association of Islamic Banking and Financial Institutions Malaysia (AIBIM), in support of the Malaysia International Islamic Financial Centre (MIFC).

Themed ‘Take the Reins’, GIFF 7.0 aims to deepen the discussions across four key areas: digitalisation, sustainability, inclusivity, and social finance, to bolster Islamic finance’s global leadership.

Muazzam Mohamed, AIBIM’s President said, “GIFF’s theme this year underscores the importance of harmonizing our financial leadership with value-based finance, which gives equal importance to social, ethical, and environmental considerations in ensuring sustainable value creation. This presents a unique opportunity to reinforce the narrative on how Islamic finance can be the answer to address growing economic, social inequalities and environmental concerns.

“GIFF also aims to support MIFC’s aspiration to position Malaysia as a global gateway for Islamic finance markets.”

According to Moody’s, the economic recovery in key Islamic finance markets will boost credit growth and demand for Shariah-compliant products, and Islamic banks’ asset growth is expected to continue to outperform their conventional peers[1].

The economic recovery is also driving an increase in Muslim consumption power. The world’s population of 1.9 billion Muslims spent the equivalent of US$2 trillion in 2021 across the food, pharmaceutical, cosmetics, fashion, travel, and media/recreation sectors. Muslim spending is forecasted to reach US$2.8 trillion by 2025[2].

“Islamic finance is the backbone of the economic recovery and growing consumption power. As one of the leading powers of change, it is critical that we uphold the values and principles of Islamic finance towards achieving common prosperity, sustainability, and inclusivity. Social financing also remains a critical mechanism for us to promote social trust, cooperation, and solidarity.

“In Malaysia, through Value Based Intermediation (VBI)-aligned initiatives, we have contributed significantly to our country’s socio-economic recovery during the Covid pandemic by distributing social finance to the vulnerable segment, particularly the B40s and the micro, small and medium enterprises,” he also said.

Globally, potentially US$1 trillion can be collected in zakat annually, boosting efforts to achieve better living conditions and alleviate poverty, combat climate change and environmental degradation, and ensuring social justice[3].

Malaysia remains the global leader in Islamic finance and is ranked first among 81 countries for the ninth consecutive year in the Global Islamic Economy Indicator[4].

Malaysia continues to take the lead to strengthen the role and contribution of Islamic finance in supporting socio-economic developments, in line with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals. Last year, Malaysia issued the world’s first sovereign US Dollar Sustainability Sukuk amounting US$800 million.

Arsalaan Ahmed, Chairman of GIFF2022  said, “There are three key developments which will further strengthen Malaysia’s leadership. First, the Financial Sector Blueprint 2022-2026 that aims to advance value-based finance through Islamic finance leadership.

“Second, the issuance of digital banking licenses will accelerate the deployment of new technologies to serve the unbanked and underserved communities. Lastly, fintech is growing exponentially in Malaysia with 33 per cent of the world’s fintech companies being headquartered here.

“All these fundamental factors are essential in Malaysia’s growth in the Islamic finance industry and we believe these positive developments will continue to grow in the coming years.”

Tan Sri Nor Shamsiah Mohd Yunus, Governor of Bank Negara Malaysia will deliver the keynote address at GIFF2022.

There will be three special sessions at the conference:

  1. Launch of the 2021 Value-based Intermediation Full Report. Published by AIBIM, the document reviewed the journey and progress of VBI initiatives from October 2020 till September 2021.
  2. Public lecture by the recipient of the Royal Award For Islamic Finance 2022, and
  3. Fireside chat with Tan Sri Azman Mokhtar, on the future of Islamic finance.

Notable speakers at the conference, among others, include Fredes Montes, Senior Financial Specialist, World Bank; Dan Jones, Partner, Oliver Wyman; Jordan Shwide, General Manager, Monzo; Aamir Rehman, Chair, Innate Capital Partners/UN Advisor on Islamic Finance; Irfan Khan, CEO, mmob; and Rafe Haneef, CEO, Group Transaction Banking and CIMB Foundation.

In addition, in the run-up to GIFF2022, there will be several events on 3rd-4th October:

  1. AIBIM-INCEIF – 24-hour Hackathon challenge
  2. Launch of World Bank report – Islamic Finance & the Development of Malaysia’s Halal Economy
  3. World Bank, Islamic Development Bank & UNDP – Panel discussion: Integrating Impact Management & Measurement in Islamic Social Finance
  4. Labuan IBFC – Forum: Unveiling Labuan as Asia’s Islamic Digital Asset Centre: Pioneering New Asset Class

To register for GIFF2022, please visit www.giff-aibim.com  

[1] Moody’s Investor Services, Cross-Sector: Islamic Finance, 8 March 2022

 

[2] Dinar Standard’s The State of the Global Islamic Economy Report 2022 (9th edition)

[3] https://www.salaamgateway.com/story/islamic-social-finance-could-help-deliver-united-nations-sustainable-development-goals

[4] Dinar Standard’s The State of the Global Islamic Economy Report 2022 (9th edition)

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