By Hadi Fornaji.
London is pitching itself to play a prominent role in Libya’s Sharia-compliant banking, which comes into force at the new year.
Noting the 2012 passage of the Islamic banking law, Hugh Robertson, a foreign office minister said that even before that legislation, Islamic banks had been taking an interest in Libya.
“As the Libyan economy develops post-revolution, Islamic finance will become increasingly prevalent and Islamic-compatible products are set to feature strongly in the Libya’s future economy,” said Robertson.
He continued: “The UK sees significant potential in Libya’s private sector. Despite ongoing political and security challenges, there are many opportunities for business in Libya, especially for financial institutions. Given London’s role as the Islamic finance capital in Europe, the UK wants to be a key player in this development”.
Robertson spoke of the $1.85 trillion Islamic global finance industry and its 15 percent annual growth. Explaining this strong expansion, he said: “Some people want investments that are managed in accordance with their faith. Others are, in the wake of the financial crisis, drawn by principles of balance, shared risk, fairness and transparency, while others still are attracted by the sheer potential of the industry …. Whatever the draw, the buzz around Islamic and ethical finance continues to grow louder and stronger”.