21st November 2019, Manama, Kingdom of Bahrain; Barcelona, Spain | The General Council for Islamic Banks and Financial Institutions, the official global representative of Islamic financial institutions (IFIs), and the Association of the Mediterranean Chambers of Commerce and Industry (ASCAME) have successfully launched today the 5th Mediterranean Islamic Finance Forum, themed: “Leveraging on Islamic Finance for Sustainability, Innovation and Economic Development”, at Casa Llotja de Mar in Barcelona, Spain.
The launch of this year’s 5th Mediterranean Islamic Finance Forum (MIFF) came in succession to the previous successful series of the Mediterranean Islamic Finance Forums in Barcelona. This forum was organised under the framework of MedaWeek Barcelona 2019 and attended by senior executives from all around the Mediterranean region, Europe and the Middle East from financial institutions, business leaders, policy makers and regulators.
The 5th MIFF was officially inaugurated by Mr Abdulhameed M. Aboumoussa, Governor of Faisal Islamic Bank of Egypt and Deputy Chairman of the Board of Directors of CIBAFI as well as Dr. Abdelilah Belatik, Secretary General of CIBAFI. The forum started with an In-Conversation between Dr. Abdelilah Belatik, Secretary General of CIBAFI and Dr. Marcos Eguiguren, Executive Director of Global Alliance for Banking on Values with a discussion on the latest global alliances and initiatives for the promotion of sustainable development.
The In-Conversation was followed by the first panel discussion session that focused on how sustainability and responsible finance serve as a gateway for Islamic finance integration in the Mediterranean region and how to fully utilize the potential of the region to be a global player in Islamic finance. It discussed how Islamic finance as an ethical and responsible mode of financing assists in achieving sustainable development and presented the main challenges, key drivers and steps for an effective adoption of Islamic finance in the region. The session was moderated by Mr Gonzalo Rodriguez, General Coordinator of Saudi Spanish Center for Islamic Economics and Finance (SCIEF). Panelists of the session included Mr Iyad G. Asali, General Manager, Islamic International Arab Bank PLC.; Mr Hassen Ben Doua, Division Head, Central Bank of Tunisia; Ms Ma. Teresa Rodriguez Arias, International Affairs Department Officer, National Securities Market Commission (CNMV) Spain; and Dr. Serkan Yuksel, Director of Department Istanbul Finance Center, Presidency of the Republic of Turkey.
The second session on the other hand explored the potentials of sukuk and takaful as effective tools for Islamic finance adoption. This session was moderated by Assoc. Prof. Dr. Ahcene Lahsasna, Chief Executive Officer, Salihin Shariah Advisory Services Sdn Bhd. Panelists of the session included Mr Mohammed Kateeb, Group Chairman & CEO, Path Solutions, Kuwait; Dr. Ronald Rulindo, Director of Product Innovation, Financial Deepening and Infrastructure Department, National Islamic Finance Committee (KNKS) Indonesia; Dr Tarik Akin, Division Director of Finance Office, Presidency of the Republic of Turkey; Mr Henry MacNevin, Associate Managing Director - Banking EMEA, Moody’s Investors Service Ltd., United Kingdom; and Mr Javier Aguilar Guindulain, CEO and Founder, King-eClient. Finally, this session also included interactive discussions on how Fintech and innovative solutions create a platform for increased financial inclusion.
In conjunction with the 5th Mediterranean Islamic Finance Forum, CIBAFI has also successfully conducted a 2-day Technical Workshop on Sukuk Structuring and Legal Documentation from 20th to 21st November 2019. This workshop was a combination of lecture and case studies on Sukuk legal documentation, the main Shariah rules and regulation that govern Sukuk issuance and the fundamental structure of Sukuk used in the Islamic Capital Market.
The above Forum and Technical Workshop are aligned with CIBAFI’s strategic objective to promote and facilitate the growth of Islamic finance. CIBAFI continues to support the Islamic financial services industry through various activities and initiatives. These include providing industry stakeholders with a platform to discuss emerging issues, policy and regulatory advocacy initiatives, representing the industry at major global financial events, and sharing knowledge through specialized publications and comprehensive training programmes.