Some would argue that a new dawn is breaking.
Ground rules for Islamic finance
While many would agree that the opportunities to raise the profile of Islamic finance in the region are infinite, others are quick to point out the importance of laying down the ground rules. A belief held firmly by Swati Taneja, Diector of the International Islamic Finance Forum taking place in Dubai next week. She says the event, being staged under the esteemed patronage of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the United Arab Emirates and Ruler of Dubai, has been designed to showcase a blueprint in Islamic finance best practice.
A platform for the most contemporary issues
«We wanted to provide a platform from which to address the most contemporary and the most contentious issues, by sourcing solutions to help develop this burgeoning sector. We also wanted to promote the leading lights in the field, by recognising and rewarding their skills as part of a dedicated awards ceremony», commented Taneja. «With any nascent industry, it’s crucial to set guidelines and to address any teething problems early on, and one fundamental way of doing this is to put forward and learn from exceptional role models. There’s clearly an awful lot of talent in the Middle East and we are delighted to be able to highlight such a strong portfolio of skills,» she added.
A once in a lifetime opportunity to present an ethical alternative
With an estimated annual growth rate of 20%, the Islamic finance industry is currently valued at more than two and a half trillion dirham’s. Many believe that now is the time to develop liquidity tools, with a general consensus that the sector is ripe for the picking. Global Head of Thomson Reuters, Rushdi Siddiqui is one of them. «This is an unprecedented opportunity to seek a ’new or improved› financial intermediation, investing and trading paradigm. In fact I’d go as far as saying that this is a once in a lifetime opportunity to present an ethical alternative to what has been described as an unscrupulous, often highly leveraged instruments, derivatives based without the base investments. Shari’ah law really could be an interesting pathway for G-20 countries on asset backed/based financial intermediation, investing and trading,» he commented.
Awards, presentations, discussions and workshops
Excellence in over ten different categories will be celebrated at the event, with the ‹Lifetime contribution award in Islamic finance›, ‹Contribution to Islamic research› and ‹Most innovative Shari’ah compliant card solution› among those being paraded on the winner’s podium. Innovation will be a key theme throughout the forum, with pioneering presentations from the world’s leading line-up of Islamic finance practitioners and scholars. The hottest topics, latest trends and most pressing challenges will all come under the spotlight, with debate centered around signposting the way forward in a new age with a focus on new markets. A series of workshops will also explore a wealth of prospects to include risk mitigation, the application of Shari’ah compliant project finance structures, with a guide to structuring compliant funds. The event will take place from 26 – 30 April 2009 at the JW Marriott Hotel.
For more information about the conference, please visit www.iiff.com
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