On December 12th, 2014, IICPSD organized a panel titled “Islamic Finance, Broadening its Positive Social Impact in Global Development Agenda” at the fifth Bosphorus Summit. The panel was moderated by Gulcin Salingan, the Deputy Director of IICPSD, and aimed to elaborate on the potential of Islamic finance for contributing to the global development agenda. The panel was inaugurated by the keynote speaker, Sir Iqbal Sacranie OBE, Founding Secretary General of the Muslim Council of Britain. He emphasized the ethical bases of Islamic finance in generating fair and equitable transactions. Sir Iqbal also addressed the evolution of Islamic finance in the UK and the recent role of the UK and London in particular as an Islamic finance gateway to Europe.
Khalid Abdulla Janahi, the Group Chief Executive of Dar Al-Maal Al-Islami Trust, emphasized the significant need to develop and revisit Islamic finance institutions (IFIs) such as Islamic Finance Services Board (IFSB) and Accounting and Auditing Organization for Islamic Financial Institutions (AAOIFI). He acknowledged UK’s successful experience in Islamic Finance. In understanding the context of Islamic finance in development, Dr. Sayd Farook, the Global Head Islamic Capital Markets of Thomson Reuters, considered two fundamental issues: demographic characteristics of the Islamic world and the regulatory constraints. Dr. Farook predicted an increasing demand for Islamic finance and higher engagement in impact investing. He also tapped on the importance of integrating crowdfunding in Islamic finance.
Additionally, Khalid Yousaf, the Director of Islamic Finance Advisory Services of KPMG, discoursed on the growth of Islamic finance, Islamic banking, and Sukuk markets. He highlighted the importance of standardization in Islamic finance and the liquidity management challenge faced by IFIs. Razi Pahlevi Abdul Aziz, the CEO of Amanie Nexus, mentioned four main areas for a comprehensive approach towards the application of Islamic finance: the financial system, stakeholders, interaction policy with global markets, and architecture and roadmap. IICPSD Technical Specialist Gokhan Dikmener addressed the opportunities for bridging Islamic finance and impact investing to prioritize human development and create synergies between the two complementary areas. Mr. Dikmener pointed out the similarities of the two sectors at the operational level, in terms of ethical considerations and liquidity challenges, as well as the differences, such as the existing reporting requirements for impact investing that could be potentially implemented for Islamic finance as well.
The panel was concluded by a session of questions and answers, emphasizing the need for developing Islamic financial infrastructure, enhancing competition and meeting market demand for Islamic financial products.