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Outcomes of the Third Roundtable Meeting between Centralised Shariah Advisory Authorities in Islamic Finance

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Bank Negara Malaysia (BNM) hosted the Third Roundtable Meeting between Centralised Shariah Advisory Authorities in Islamic Finance (CSAAs)[1] on 21 December 2021. The meeting was held virtually and participated by more than 50 delegates from 16 countries[2] and three standard-setting bodies[3].
The meeting was chaired by the Chairman of the BNM Shariah Advisory Council, Tan Sri Dr. Mohd Daud Bakar. It aims to further strengthen connectivity and foster mutual respect among Shariah boards at both central bank and national levels.
The following outcomes were highlighted during the meeting:
  1. Given the important role of CSAAs in mainstreaming Islamic finance, having a broader picture on Islamic finance development in their countries is critical. This mainly include industry-wide issues which could not be resolved by individual Islamic financial institutions (IFIs) and their respective Shariah boards. Such areas include providing Shariah guidance in navigating through any unprecedented crisis, developing Shariah parameters on rectification of Shariah non-compliant (SNC) events and incomes, as well as promoting the best ethical behaviour among Shariah board members and management of IFIs in preserving the Shariah sanctity of their operations
  2. CSAAs should strive to build greater coordination with other regulators and Governments in driving future-proof initiatives for the Islamic finance industry. It is critical for CSAAs to address challenges including those arising from misalignment of regulatory frameworks with Shariah principles. For example, to address the impact of climate change, CSAAs can collaborate with the Government and other relevant regulators to issue a national green framework that is consistent with Shariah principles. CSAAs may also guide regulators in enhancing laws and regulatory policies to suit the development of their respective Islamic finance industry.
  3. On Shariah governance, the meeting acknowledged the importance of a sound framework to ensure quality Shariah boards in terms of behaviour, duty of care and attitude towards fulfilling their mandates. The meeting also recognised the key roles of a competent Shariah Secretariat in supporting the effective functioning of its Shariah advisory board, at both national and institution levels.
  4. The meeting agreed for more focus to be given on key strategic issues, maqasid Shariah and action-oriented commitments in supporting sustainable finance for future meetings.
[1] The CSAA is established to deliberate on Shariah matters in Islamic finance. Each country adopts a different model and approach in establishing their respective Shariah advisory authority, to commensurate with the size and complexity of its Islamic finance industry as well as the local custom. The role of the Shariah advisory authority has been pivotal in preserving the Shariah sanctity and public confidence on Islamic financial transactions, creating a conducive environment for the industry to innovate and grow.
[2] Afghanistan, Algeria, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Brunei, Djibouti, Indonesia, Kuwait, Libya, Malaysia, Maldives, Morocco, Nigeria, Pakistan, Turkey and United Arab Emirates.
[3] Accounting and Auditing Organisation for Islamic Financial Institutions (AAOIFI), General Council for Islamic Banks and Financial Institutions (CIBAFI) and Islamic Financial Services Board (IFSB).


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EVENTS & ANNOUNCEMENTS

What To Expect From the Kuala Lumpur Islamic Finance Forum 2024?

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The Kuala Lumpur Islamic Finance Forum (KLIFF) 2024 is poised to be a pivotal event in the Islamic finance industry, building on the momentum of its previous editions. The forum has consistently served as a crucial platform for discussions on the latest trends, challenges, and opportunities in Islamic finance, drawing attention to the innovative strides and potential growth areas within the sector.

Key Expectations from KLIFF 2024

  • Industry Leadership and Expert Insights: The forum is expected to host a distinguished lineup of speakers from various sectors of Islamic finance, including banking, fintech, asset management, and more. Previous editions have seen influential figures such as Dima Djani, CEO of Hijra Group, and Jamaludin Bujang, Managing Partner (Malaysia) at Gobi Partners, sharing their insights, which indicates the caliber of thought leadership that attendees can anticipate in 2024​.
  • Sustainable and Ethical Finance Focus: A significant emphasis on sustainable and ethical finance principles is likely, reflecting a global trend towards more responsible investment practices. This aligns with the broader objectives of Islamic finance to contribute positively to society and the environment. Discussions may revolve around leveraging Islamic finance and social finance for sustainable future, as seen in previous forums​
  • Global Islamic Fintech Outlook: The rapid growth and innovation in Islamic fintech will likely be a central theme, given its increasing prominence in offering Shariah-compliant financial solutions worldwide. The previous edition highlighted the sector’s expansion, including the adoption of blockchain and cryptocurrency, emphasizing the role of digital banking in enhancing financial inclusion and the importance of regulatory frameworks to support industry growth​
  • Networking and Collaboration Opportunities: KLIFF 2024 will provide invaluable networking opportunities, facilitating connections between industry stakeholders, including investors, policymakers, and professionals. This collaboration is essential for fostering innovation and exploring new ventures in the Islamic finance landscape.
  • Support from Industry Leaders: The forum’s impact is underscored by the support it receives from leading entities in the Islamic finance sector. For instance, Principal Asset Management’s partnership for the IFN Investor Asia Forum 2024, scheduled in Kuala Lumpur, indicates the level of industry backing and commitment to advancing Islamic finance​
  • Innovative Solutions and Best Practices: Attendees can expect to learn about the latest innovative solutions and best practices within Islamic finance, including advancements in Sukuk, Islamic banking, asset management, and more. The event will likely showcase cutting-edge research, case studies, and success stories from around the globe.

The Kuala Lumpur Islamic Finance Forum (KLIFF) 2024 is set to be a landmark event, highlighting the growing importance and dynamism of the Islamic finance industry. With a focus on sustainability, technological innovation, and global collaboration, KLIFF 2024 will offer attendees a comprehensive view of the sector’s current state and future directions. By gathering experts, thought leaders, and practitioners from around the world, the forum will continue to play a crucial role in shaping the Islamic finance landscape, promoting development, and addressing the evolving needs of the global economy.


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OIC Secretary-General Calls on OIC Member States to Invest More in Critical Sectors of the Economy

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On the 4th of December 2023, the President of the Republic of Türkiye, His Excellency Recep Tayyip Erdogan, inaugurated the 39th Session of the OIC Standing Committee for Economic and Commercial Cooperation (COMCEC), in Istanbul. The ceremony was attended by the OIC Secretary-General and Member States’ concerned ministers.

In his Statement, President Erdogan highlighted the grave situation in Gaza and the rising trend of Islamophobia and emphasized the need for all OIC Member States to have a unified position to address current challenges facing the Muslim Ummah.

He also underscored the importance of implementing the Trade Preferential System among OIC Member States as well as supporting the OIC Arbitration Centre, developing small and medium enterprises (SMEs) and halal industries towards promoting sustainable socio-economic growth in OIC Member States.

Speaking at the Opening Ceremony of the 39th Session of COMCEC, H.E Mr. Hissein Brahim Taha, the Secretary-General of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC), acknowledged the continued support of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, the Chairman of COMCEC, towards the realization of various economic programs and projects of the OIC.

Referring to the tragic massacres taking in Gaza and Palestine generally, the Secretary-General called upon the international community to intervene urgently to put an end to Israel’s criminal aggression and murder of Palestinians. While highlighting the activities of OIC and its institutions in the economic domain during the last one year, the Secretary-General emphasized the need to further enhance intra-OIC cooperation in the vital sectors of the economy.

Especially in the food and agriculture sector, to build more resilient food systems, share knowledge and best practices in order to help develop domestic production capacities in OIC Member States. Accordingly, he called for greater cooperation, harmonization, and synergizing of efforts toward addressing the developmental challenges of OIC Member States.

The Opening Ceremony was also addressed by Ministers in charge of trade from Qatar, Senegal, and Kazakstan in their capacities as representatives of Arab, African, and Asian groups

The 39th Session of COMCEC is being attended by Ministers in charge of trade and economy of the OIC Member States as well as OIC institutions and international organizations. The Session will review the status of implementation of various projects under the COMCEC in the areas of trade and investment, agriculture, tourism and financial development, Private Sector, and poverty alleviation among others. The theme of the 39th COMCEC Sessions is “Improving E-Commerce Capacities of the OIC Member Countries”.

COMCEC is an OIC Standing Committee for Economic and Commercial Cooperation, which meets annually to review OIC activities in the economic and trade development domains.


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14th World Islamic Economic Forum Discusses Key Global Economic Growth Themes

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The 14th World Islamic Economic Forum (WIEF), scheduled for 6-8 February 2024 at the Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre (ADNEC), promises to be a pivotal event in shaping the global economic landscape. Under the theme ‘Global Economic Agenda: Shaping a Sustainable Future,’ this forum will delve into a wide array of pressing economic issues, especially focusing on the integration of technology in shaping future economic trends.

A key highlight of the 14th WIEF is the exploration of East Asia’s burgeoning economic clout. As this region becomes increasingly influential in the global market, the forum will examine its impact on global economic dynamics. This is particularly relevant considering reports from institutions like the Asian Development Bank, which forecast East Asia’s continuous growth trajectory in the coming years.

The convergence of technology and sustainability will also be a central theme. With the world rapidly evolving, the forum aims to chart new paths for economic development, emphasizing sustainable practices. This aligns with global trends highlighted in reports by the United Nations and World Economic Forum, which stress the critical role of sustainable development in future economic growth.

The increasing economic prominence of the Middle East, especially in the context of global markets, is another focal point. Reports from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and other economic research institutions underline the Middle East’s expanding role in shaping global economic policies and trends.

Tan Sri Dr. Syed Hamid Albar, Chairman of the WIEF Foundation, emphasizes the forum’s importance as a pivotal platform for global economic dialogue. The event will feature a plethora of plenary sessions, in-depth panel discussions, and networking opportunities, addressing topics like youth integration in the AI-driven labor market, the empowerment of women in technology, the synergy between Islamic finance and ESG (Environmental, Social, and Governance) investing, and innovative strategies for food security.

MOCAfest, an integral part of the Forum, will celebrate the vital role of creative industries in economic and social development. This festival will be a melting pot for artists from diverse cultures, showcasing their talents and fostering a vibrant cultural exchange.

About the World Islamic Economic Forum Foundation (WIEF): Established in 2006, the WIEF Foundation has been at the forefront of enhancing global economic cooperation. It focuses on trade opportunities, business networking, and capacity building programs, primarily through its annual forum. WIEF brings together influential figures from government, industry, academia, and other sectors to discuss contemporary issues and trends in the global economy. The 14th WIEF, with its emphasis on sustainable future shaping, reaffirms this commitment.


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