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Monday, 28 September 2015


Lahore—Pak-China Joint Chamber of Commerce and Industry (PCJCCI) Saturday called for making the businesses and commercial activities in accordance with Islamic financial laws. 

The PCJCCI President Shah Faisal Afridi told APP here that Islamic banking has proved over time that it is based on firm and sound economic principles and has a good potential to become an alternative system of banking especially in view of the global financial crises. However, efforts should be made to modify the existing structure to provide better products andquality service within the ambit of Islamic laws, he said. He said all stakeholders should understand the limitations at this stage and work towards its advancement to develop an economic system truly reflective of the sacred principles of Islam. 

According to Global Islamic Finance Report, Pakistan ranked at number nine in the world in terms of development of Islamic financial services industry in the country, and second largest Islamic market (population-wise) after Indonesia, and could become the most important player in Islamic banking and finance, if it attained 20 percent market share. Faisal Afridi said, “Time has come where we should look ahead and concentrate to develop innovative products with more perfection and purity.” 

He mentioned that growth of Islamic banking in the country has been over 30 percent in last few years, which is certainly above the average global growth rate of Islamic banking and finance. “If this trend continues, then one should expect that in the next three years Islamic banking assets will at least double from its current size of Rs 926 billion.” 

“If that happens, the country will stand next to a number of Gulf countries and Malaysia where Islamic banking represents between 20 and 30 percent of the market share,” he added. He said, at present there are more than 600 Islamic banking branches throughout Pakistan and 19 Islamic banking institutions are offering commercial banking services as he appreciated the new Islamic banking strategy by the State Bank of Pakistan to double the number of Islamic banking branches in next four years. 

“To achieve the desired goal, we need highly competent, motivated and involved persons with required knowledge of conventional banking and finance as well as knowledge of Islamic Shariah,” he asserted. Faisal Afridi mentioned to product innovation, development and research, flexible and practical application and enforcement of shariah principles, creation of global financial hubs and regulators as key drivers for growth and competitiveness of Islamic finance industry.

(Pakistan Abserver / 28 September 2015)
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