CIS Islamic Banking and Finance Forum Auspiciously Concluded in Tashkent

CIS Islamic Banking and Finance Forum was successfully concluded in Tashkent-Uzbekistan, yesterday. The purpose of that forum was to promote, strengthen and unite the Islamic Banking and Finance industry of the CIS countries, the theme of the forum was “CIS as new destination for Islamic Finance” which also addressed financial inclusion, fintech, Sukuk, Takaful, Islamic capital markets Islamic Microfinance, potential and opportunities of Islamic finance in CIS countries. Distinguished Speakers and industry experts from well serving organizations related to Islamic banking and finance, Islamic insurance (Takaful), and banking industry participated in the event. The aim of the forum was also to discuss the potential of Islamic finance in CIS countries, Investment avenue’s, FinTech, Sukuk, Takaful and Islamic capital markets by gathering stakeholders under one roof. The forum was organized by AlHuda Centre of Islamic Banking and Economics in partnership with multilateral organization Islamic Corporation for Development of Private Sector (ICD) – Islamic Development Bank (IsDB), Uzbekistan Bank Association.

AlHuda arranged an impressive lineup of speakers from different countries with the revealing sessions on the subject matter to explore more options for Islamic finance industry. Dr. Irfan Yusuf Shami, Ambassador, Embassy of Pakistan, Tashkent, Uzbekistan- the chief guest inaugurated the forum by saying that Islamic finance is the need of the time and Central Asia needs to keep an eye on the potential of Islamic Banking & Finance and what value it can bring to the current system of International Banking & Finance. Investing in Islamic banking and finance will definitely lead to have greater foreign Investments promising enhanced global connectivity, improved job creation, socio-economic development and poverty alleviation. This transcending Islamic financial sector will create genuine global opportunities and as Uzbekistan has its own unique position in Central Asia. He further said that I vigorously endorse Pakistan’s ambassadorial role in promoting meaningful contributions to the advancement of Islamic finance at all levels to pave the way towards a better community with potential to make a difference in this world.

Guest of honors including Mr. Kaiser Haneef Naseem- Lead for Banking and Digital Transformation Advisory Services Eastern Europe Central Asia Region- World Bank Group – IFC, Russia, Mr. Hussain Hasanov- Head of Islamic Development Bank- Uzbekistan, Mr. Yerlan BAIDAULET- Advisor, Ministry of Investment & Development Kazakhstan, Mr. Bakhtiyar S. KHAMIDOV- General Director, Uzbekistan Banking Association, Uzbekistan, Mr. OdilbekIsakov- Deputy Minister of Finance, Republic of Uzbekistan, Mr. Diyor Mukhamedov- Deputy Director, Capital Market Development Agency, Uzbekistan, Mr. Zafar B. Mustafaev- General Director, Association of Uzbekistan Lessors, Uzbekistan, Mr. Bakhodir Kadirov- General Director, Taiba Leasing LLC, Uzbekistan, and Mr. Makhkamova Gulbahor- Chairman of the Board of Trustees, Micro Credit Fund IMON, Tajikistan also expressed about the Islamic finance potentials and opportunities in CIS countries and possible ways to achieve the milestone.

By addressing the event participants, Mr. Pervez Nasim, Chairman & CEO- Ansar Financial and Development Corporation (“AFDC”), Canada discussed about the Islamic banking and financial inclusion. He said that Islamic finance can enhance the financial inclusion through fintech. CIS countries has potential for Islamic banking and finance and can play a pivotal role for its development. To attract the attendees, he talked about how Islamic banking and finance can enhance the living standards of inhabitants and economic justice.

Addressing to the audience, the organizer of CIS Islamic Banking and Finance Forum, Mr. Muhammad Zubair Mughal, Chief Executive Officer, AlHuda CIBE said that Islamic banking and finance total volume has crossed $2.6 trillion globally. He said, total Muslim population of CIS countries is estimated 75 million which is a good news for growing Islamic banking and finance industry. CIS countries’ list consist of 10 countries which includes Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, Kyrgyzstan, Turkmenistan, Azerbaijan, Russia, Armenia etc. The most important factor of the growth of Islamic banking and finance industry in CIS countries is the Islamic Development Bank’s projects whereas, ICD also has huge investment for Islamic banking and Islamic leasing avenues in CIS countries which includes Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, and Kyrgyzstan etc. He further added that AlHuda CIBE has started putting its research, advisory, consultancy and capacity building services in CIS countries for Islamic banking and finance industry from 2006. He concluded that in CIS countries, the Islamic banking and finance market can be divided into three parts. At first, there are countries (Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan and Azerbaijan) where the growth speed of Islamic banking and finance industry is satisfactory and these countries want to promote this sustainable financial alternative. Secondly, there are countries (Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Russia) where the Islamic banking and finance industry exist with low growth rate. At final there are countries like Armenia, Ukraine, and Belarus etc. where there is no initiative taken so far. However, overall Islamic banking and finance position in CIS countries is encouraging.

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In the forum, delegates from Ansar Financial & Development Corporation- Canada, World Bank Group – IFC, Uzbekistan, International Turnkey Systems – ITS, Kuwait, Sheikh Ahmed Bin Obaid Al Maktoum LLC, Uzbekistan, Annexure Financial Solutions, China, Pakistan Poverty Alleviation Fund, Pakistan, Sohibkor bank, Republic of Tajikistan, Islamic Corporation for the Development of the Private Sector (ICD), Uzbekistan, Mo Bulak Finance LLC, Kyrgyz Republic, Alif Capital – Tajikistan, World Bank Group – IFC, Russia, and many other delegates from 15+ countries participated in it. Forum was continued on 2nd May, 2019 in which Financial Inclusion, Financial Technologies, Sukuk, Shariah Structuring for the development of Islamic finance, Takaful, Sustainability, and Islamic Capital Markets were discussed in the broader perspective. Three organizations named Association of Uzbekistan Lessors, Uzbekistan, Uzbekistan Banking Association, Uzbekistan, and Hi-Tech Bank, Uzbekistan also signed MoUs with AlHuda Center of Islamic Banking and Economics at this prestigious event for the growth and development of Islamic banking and finance industry.

The Forum is followed by Two Days “Post Event Workshop on Islamic Banking, Takaful and Islamic Microfinance” dated for May 3-4, 2019. The Workshop covered a variety of allied topics. To learn more about please visit: www.alhudacibe.com/cis2019