Mediterranean Islamic Finance Conference told, “Microfinance will be desperately needed in the region and we must find ways to encourage various Islamic finance institutions to ensure that the necessary financing is available”
The message was delivered by Malta Institute of Management President Reuben Buttigieg, who added that by its very nature, Islamic finance can help alleviate suffering in the Mediterranean and particularly in North Africa.
In his opening address to the conference, Buttigieg stressed that Malta had a potential added role in the region. The island’s humanitarian efforts throughout the Libyan crisis could now be extended to support the provision of the necessary financing to North Africa in a Shariah-compliant manner.
New governments, Buttigieg pointed out, may not necessarily have the legislative mechanisms to ensure peace of mind of investors to channel such financing to people in need in these countries. He suggested Malta could lend a helping hand by providing the necessary tax and legal instruments.
“This is the time to show that the values and principles we preach come to reality in a region that is begging for such opportunity,” Buttigieg said.Tariq Kazim, Deputy General Manager of support services and overseas branches of Al Baraka Islamic Bank, said Malta had particular potential in the development of Islamic finance in the Mediterranean.
With its human capital as its main resource, the island was capable of acting as a gateway to neighbouring economies. “There is potential for Malta to act as a bridge,” Kazim told The Times of Malta.
“It can benefit from building relationships and developing leads and communication in European countries.“Libya has great potential in terms of wealth and there are significant opportunities for business and infrastructure development.
It is set to be the next booming market in a solid, large country with a small population,” Kazim said.