A separate panel discussion covering the Challenges, Developments and future of Islamic Banking and Finance in Oman took place on, 5th June 2012 at the Oman Islamic Banking and Finance Conference 2012. The panel discussion was moderated by Mr. Noaman Abdul Majid, Country Manager-Oman, Pak Investment Company. vies on the topic he said “Oman is in a unique position to benefit from thexperiences of Sharing his other regional economies, so Oman should ensure that whatever mistakes were made in deploying and developing the Islamic Finance framework are not repeated again and should maintain a focus on Shariah compliance, as well as customer and client orientation. It is also very important that the regulator, financial institutions and the private sector put their heads together to develop Islamic Finance as a whole, to make sure that the proportion of Islamic Finance and the overall financial system is significant enough because if everybody works in isolation to each other, it’s not going to happen. So all the stakeholders should try to create a platform to communicate with each other, so that they understand each other well and the products and services are deployed accordingly.”
The panel discussion saw panelists Mr. Hussein Soyan, Managing Director, Soyan Financial Consultancy Ltd; Dr. Abdel Gadir Warsama, BBK & Professor of Law, American University, Bahrain; Mr. Adnan Khan, Finance Manager, Gulf International Chemicals and Mr. Arsalan Ahmed Qureshi, AVP-Sr. Manager,Operational Risk-Risk Management Dept, Al Baraka Islamic Bank, highlight various issues related to the sector.
Speaking on the topic of the panel discussion Mr. Adnan Khan said “Banking will not work on its own, it needs infrastructure, communication and mutual understanding between different banks, it needs support of the private organizations because Islamic Banking needs to invest into Islamic Compliant companies and there are certain requirements for that. Unless those companies comply with those requirements, Islamic banking cannot invest into them. Other than that, the other main issue is that although Islamic Banking has been in existence for some time, we don’t have many qualified people in this field, which is one of the things we need here in Oman. These are some of the challenges which if worked upon can lead to a very successful Islamic system in Oman.”
Adding to Mr. Khan and Mr. Majid, Mr Abdel Gadir Warsama said “To start Islamic Banking first we need to have a law. This Islamic Law should highlight basic Islamic products that have to be followed by Islamic Banks and this law is made by the Sharia’h Boards. We must have a Central Shariah Board in the Central Bank to give guidance for Islamic Banks. Also in each bank we require to have a Sharia’h advisor to act as a liaison between the Bank and the Central Bank. There are so many now, we have to benefit from the experience of others, from where they have stopped, rather than start from the beginning. But at the same time we have to be very careful not to commit the same mistakes they made. Islamic Banking now is most rapid and is developing by 25 % every year, for sure in the very near future Islamic Bank will be equal to conventional banks. Here in Oman there is a base for Islamic Banking to grow and to help the economy to grow.”