Sultan Nazrin: Strive to make Islamic finance dynamic
DUBAI: Muslim countries must strive to make Islamic finance and the ecosystem in which it operates as dynamic and information-rich as possible, said Sultan of Perak, Sultan Nazrin Shah.
He said that in order to do so, there must be considerable investment in human capital particularly research, education and training.
These, he said, include financial institutions, the investment community and importantly, those responsible for Islamic jurisprudence and policy makers.
Sultan Nazrin noted that Islamic finance is fast becoming mainstream global finance, citing that the United Kingdom became the first sovereign issuer of sukuk outside the Islamic world followed by Hong Kong and South Africa.
“These sovereign issues mark a milestone and a coming of age of sorts for Islamic finance and asset management,” he said.
The Sultan of Perak, who is the Royal patron for Malaysia’s Islamic Finance Initiative was speaking at the Islamic Forum Dubai 2014 The Franklin Templeton Investments.
Sultan Nazrin made a special mention on Dubai and Malaysia, which he described as being major players in the Islamic finance sector.
He said efforts must continue to ensure the soundness and integrity of Islamic assets, where they have to be true not just to good investment principles but also the ethical values enshrined in the teachings of Islam.
“The ultimate objective of Islamic investment is to achieve al falah or success, happiness and well-being in this world and the hereafter through efficiency and effectiveness but also with fair dealing and economic justice,” he added.
Sultan Nazrin said a large proportion of Islamic investment today takes place on a cross-border basis where in terms of forging inter-connectivity, the effects of Islamic finance are global and should be recognised as such.
Training the much-needed capital, industry talent, regulatory bodies and business networks would draw people of all races and creeds closer together and not just Muslims, he added.
“With earlier provisos that Islamic financing and asset management need to be managed progressively and sustainably, this increasing closeness cannot but have positive effects in promoting greater mutual understanding and acceptance of Islamic finance by all,” said Sultan Nazrin.
He said Asia, particularly East and South-East Asia were the regions likely to take Islamic finance and investing to the next level as economic growth and wealth creation in this part of the world is expected to continue, albeit at possibly more suitable rates.