6th Mediterranean Islamic Finance Forum Highlighted the Opportunities that Islamic Finance Presents in the Post COVID - 19 Era

  • 18/Nov/2021

18th November 2021, Manama, Kingdom of Bahrain, Barcelona, Spain | The General Council for Islamic Banks and Financial Institutions, the official global representative of Islamic financial institutions (IFIs), the Association of the Mediterranean Chambers of Commerce and Industry (ASCAME), and the Barcelona Chamber of Commerce have successfully convened today the 6th Mediterranean Islamic Finance Forum (MIFF). This year’s online forum was focused on “Islamic Finance in the Post COVID-19 Era: A Pathway for Economic Development and Resilience”.

The successful execution of the forum came in succession to the previous successful series of the Mediterranean Islamic Finance Forums in Barcelona. It was led by CIBAFI as part of the MedaWeek Barcelona 2021 and gathered decision-makers, investors, entrepreneurs, senior executives from financial institutions, business leaders, policy makers, regulators, heads of government and ministers from all around the Mediterranean, Europe and the Middle East.

The 2nd day inauguration of the 15th Mediterranean Week of Economic Leaders - MedaWeek Barcelona 2021 and the 6th MIFF has witnessed Keynote speeches from different leaders of the industry including from Dr. Abdelilah Belatik, Secretary General of CIBAFI and Mr. Ayman Sejiny, Chief Executive Officer, Islamic Corporation for the Development of the Private Sector (ICD).

The COVID-19 outbreak has severely impacted nearly all industries, including the Islamic financial services industry (IFSI). The panel session of the 6th MIFF discussed these effects of the pandemic and how institutions respond to create opportunities and face the challenges to strengthen the industry. The session also tackled how Islamic finance help achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and how it could play a vital role in furthering economic development and fostering prosperity in the Mediterranean and African regions. Furthermore, the session highlighted the importance technology and innovation as a driving force for Islamic finance penetration in developing and emerging regions such as the Mediterranean. The panelists who discussed these very engaging topics included: Mr. Iyad Asali, General Manager, Islamic International Arab Bank PLC, Jordan; Mr. Nabil Kesraoui, Director General, Zitouna Tamkeen, Tunisia; Mr. Hasan Sami Bayansar, Deputy Chief Executive Officer, Insha Ventures, Turkey; Mr. Gonzalo Rodríguez, Director, Saudi-Spanish Center for Islamic Economics and Finance (SCIEF), Spain and Dr. Bridget Kustin, Research Fellow, Saïd Business School-University of Oxford, United Kingdom. The session was moderated by Dr. Muhammad Bilal, Research Economist, General Council for Islamic Banks and Financial Institutions (CIBAFI).

The above Forum is 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.

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