Delegates at last year's WIBC.

20th anniversary special edition of World Islamic Banking Conference to open with pre-conference seminar hosted by IIFM

: Tuesday, December 03 - 2013 @ 07:27

Leading players, industry thought leaders and key regulators in the international Islamic banking and finance industry will take part in the 20th Anniversary Special Edition of the World Islamic Banking Conference (WIBC 2013), which is set to commence on the 3rd of December 2013 at the Gulf Hotel in the Kingdom of Bahrain.

Held under the theme “Industry Transformation to Improve Global Competitiveness in Islamic Finance”, the three day event is convened under the patronage of HRH Prince Khalifa Bin Salman Al Khalifa, the Prime Minister of the Kingdom of Bahrain and is supported by the Central Bank of Bahrain.

Speaking ahead of the event, 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.”

McLean also said, “The 20th Anniversary WIBC is poised to break new records in 2013 with more than 1,300 attendees from over 50 countries set to join over 100 high-profile speakers and 65 market-leading partners and sponsors for a very special and unique event that will celebrate the tremendous achievements made thus far and prepare the industry to forge ahead with more success in the years ahead.”

WIBC 2013 will begin on the 3rd of December 2013 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 the 4th of December 2013, will be inaugurated by H.E. Rasheed Mohammed Al Maraj, Governor of the Central Bank of Bahrain. The inaugural address will be immediately followed by a special keynote address by H.E. Dr. Mohammad Y. Al-Hashel, Governor of the Central Bank of Kuwait.

This year’s WIBC features the most impressive line-up of speakers in the conference’s 20 years of history. Key highlights of WIBC 2013 include the interactive dialogue with H.E. Sheikh Saleh Abdullah Kamel, Chairman and Founder of Dallah Al Baraka Group; one of the genuine pioneers of the industry and widely acclaimed as the father of contemporary Islamic finance, who will share his perspectives of Islamic finance past, present and future during an onstage conversation with acclaimed media personality Turki Al Dakhil of Al Arabiya News Channel.

WIBC 2013 will also feature a special guest address on the future of banking regulation and its implications for Islamic financial institutions by Sir Howard Davies, Former Chairman, Financial Services Authority; Former Deputy Governor, Bank of England and Professor, Sciences Po, Paris.

WIBC 2013 will also include a high profile Industry Leaders’ Power Debate featuring internationally respected CEOs and decision-makers from the key players in the industry. Led by Ashar Nazim, Partner, Head of Global Islamic Banking Center, EY and featuring Badlisyah Abdul Ghani, Executive Director/Chief Executive Officer of CIMB Islamic Bank Berhad; Wasim Saifi, Global Head of Islamic Banking and Chief Executive Officer of Standard Chartered Saadiq Bhd; Toby O’Connor, Chief Executive Officer of the Islamic Bank of Asia; and Steve Troop, Group Chief Executive Officer of Barwa Bank, the power debate session will analyse what changes the Islamic finance industry must undergo in order to adapt and evolve to meet the evolving needs of the end-user.

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 United Kingdom, Canada and Azerbaijan. In addition to the UK Country Interface which will be inaugurated by HMA Iain Lindsay OBE, British Ambassador to Bahrain; WIBC 2013 will also feature for the first time an exclusive Canada Country Interface which will be inaugurated by H.E. Thomas MacDonald, (non-resident) Ambassador of Canada to Bahrain, Embassy of Canada to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.

Commenting on their participation at the event, 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.”

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 looking back over the past 20 years of WIBC.

Commenting on the Bahrain Economic Development Board’s participation at the 20th Anniversary World Islamic Banking Conference, H.E. Kamal bin Ahmed, Minister of Transportation and Acting Chief Executive of the Bahrain Economic Development Board, said, “For twenty years, the World Islamic Banking Conference (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.”

He also said that “Bahrain is widely recognised as a leader in the sector, and in Islamic banking in particular, playing host to the largest concentration of Islamic financial institutions in the world, including 26 Islamic banks with total assets under management of over $25bn. As such, the Bahrain EDB are delighted to have worked alongside WIBC for the past decade, and the Kingdom is looking forward to continuing to successfully hosting the event for many years to come.”

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Tuesday, December 3- 2013 @ 7:27 UAE local time (GMT+4) Replication or redistribution in whole or in part is expressly prohibited without the prior written consent of Mediaquest FZ LLC.

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