More than 1,300 industry leaders from over 50 countries will join over 100 international speakers in Bahrain at the 20th anniversary special edition of the World Islamic Banking Conference (WIBC 2013) set to open tomorrow (December 3).
Themed “Industry Transformation to Improve Global Competitiveness in Islamic Finance”, the three day event will take place at the Gulf Hotel under the patronage of HRH Prince Khalifa Bin Salman Al Khalifa, the Prime Minister of Bahrain and is supported by the Central Bank of Bahrain.
David McLean, chief executive of the World Islamic Banking Conference (WIBC) said: “The global Islamic financial services industry continues to experience double digit growth and has achieved a recognizable position within the global financial landscape as an industry that can make significant contributions to promoting financial inclusion, and economic growth and development.”
“The range of products and services offered has also widened from primarily retail banking products to more sophisticated capital market instruments catering to an increasingly global audience as a number of new jurisdictions now seek to adopt Islamic finance.
“As the global Islamic finance industry is transitioning to its next stage of development, it is essential that the industry further adapts to the new dynamics of global finance and transforms itself in order to achieve sustainable growth and improve its competitiveness,” he added.
WIBC 2013 will begin with a pre-conference seminar hosted by the International Islamic Financial Market (IIFM).
The pragmatically focused pre-conference executive briefing session, led by experienced and respected industry experts, will place a range of complex themes in a practical framework, enabling a deeper understanding of the critical issues facing the Islamic finance industry.
The main WIBC 2013 conference, which begins on December 4, will be inaugurated by Rasheed Mohammed Al Maraj, Governor of the Central Bank of Bahrain.
This year’s WIBC features the most impressive line-up of speakers in the conference’s 20 years of history including a special guest address on the future of banking regulation and its implications for Islamic financial institutions.
The eagerly anticipated World Islamic Banking Competitiveness Report, an original research project led by EY’s award winning Global Islamic Banking Center, will also be launched on-site at a specially convened session at WIBC 2013.
‘The World Comes to WIBC Initiative’ has also been further expanded this year and will feature official delegations representing exciting jurisdictions for Islamic finance including Bahrain, Luxembourg, the UK, Canada and Azerbaijan.
Janet L Ecker, president and CEO, Toronto Financial Services Alliance (TFSA) said: “Canada’s mix of traditionally strong risk management skills in the financial services industry and a highly effective regime of regulation and supervision continues to be a model for others around the world – and Canada’s reputation as a financial services centre has grown significantly as a result, especially since the financial crisis of 2008.”
“Toronto – Canada’s financial capital – is one of the most diverse cities in the world and we welcome the growing ties between Toronto and the Islamic banking community.
“With a sound economy, stable political environment and a wealth of physical assets, we offer many opportunities for Islamic investors. The World Islamic Banking Conference is an ideal opportunity to explore our common interests and build on our shared values,” she added.
The 20th Anniversary WIBC will feature a special awards ceremony that will recognize excellence, innovation and pioneering initiatives in the global Islamic banking and finance industry.
Kamal bin Ahmed, Minister of Transportation and acting chief executive of the Bahrain Economic Development Board said: “For twenty years, WIBC has helped shape the global Islamic finance sector, which has experienced unprecedented growth during that time.
“This has mainly been driven by the fast-growing economies in Asia and the Middle East, but Islamic finance has also been adopted by international businesses, global sovereigns and a broad range of institutional investors, and it is events such as WIBC that have provided a platform to help expand understanding and communicate the opportunities.” – TradeArabia News Service.