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Tuesday, 17 December 2013

Tunisia Potential Islamic Finance Hub Fir French - Speaking Countries

JEDDAH – There are big opportunities to promote Islamic finance in Tunisia which can be the global hub of Islamic finance for French speaking countries, said Muhammad Zubair Mughal, Chief Executive Officer, AlHuda Centre of Islamic Banking and Economics (CIBE) in an international conference on “Finance and Enterprise” jointly organized by World Bank, International Monetary Fund (IMF), International Finance Corporation (IFC) and European Bank for Reconstruction and Development in Sousse, Tunisia.

The event was attended by the Prime Minister of Tunisia, including many government ministers, heads and senior delegates from central banks, World Bank, IMF, IFC, European Bank and other dignitaries from different international organizations. 

Mughal, during his address as guest of honor, said international financial crisis can be addressed in a better way through Islamic finance and such financial crisis could not have happened if Islamic financial system was followed and implemented at that time.

He said there are about 2000 Islamic financial institutions working globally as Islamic banks, Takaful (Islamic insurance), sukuk (Islamic bonds), Islamic fund and Islamic microfinance institutions, etc, in more than 100 countries.

Fortunately, he said no Islamic financial institution was effected by such global financial crisis, which ensures the strength and rationality behind the Islamic financial system. He added that international institutions such as Islamic Development Bank (IDB), Accounting and Auditing Organization of Islamic Financial Institutions (AAOIFI), Islamic Financial Services Board (IFSB) and International Islamic Liquidity Management (IILM) are working for Islamic finance around the globe which will further promote and strengthen the Islamic finance in future globally. Responding to a question related to the relationship between religion and Islamic finance, he said that Islamic banking and finance is a name of a system not religion so all other religions can get benefit from it and that is why Islamic banking and finance is growing in the Western world where non-Muslims are utilizing the Islamic financial products considerably, to fulfill their business, personal and financial needs.

America alone has has more than 20 Islamic financial institutions are working, which are actively providing the Islamic financial services to fulfill the financial needs of Muslims and non-Muslims equally.

During his stay in Tunisia, he met with Dr. Amel Amri, President – Tunisian Association for Islamic Finance (TAIF), Dr. Raza, President – Islamic Economic Association Tunisia and heads of some other Islamic financial institutions. He said that Tunisia has a good recognition in Islamic financial industry having 2 full-fledged Islamic banks, takaful companies, universities with Islamic finance program, sukuk laws and some other similar institutions which indicate the best future of Islamic finance in Tunisia.

Realizing the need of Islamic microfinance, he further said that Islamic microfinance is missing component of Islamic finance in Tunisia while socioeconomic development and poverty reduction can be done in better way through Islamic microfinance.

(Saudi Gazette / 16 Dec 2013)

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