Kishore Mahbubani, Dean and Professor at the Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy
Islamic finance has emerged as one of the most rapidly expanding sectors in the global financial system and is evolving into an industry with an increasingly significant global footprint. There are estimated to be over 430 Islamic banks and financial institutions operating in more than 75 countries, and around 191 conventional banks that have Islamic banking windows. With the emergence of exciting new jurisdictions in addition to the strong growth showcased by established centres of Islamic finance in the Middle East and Asia, the industry has further reinforced its growing globalization.
Hosted with the official support of the Monetary Authority of Singapore, the 2nd Annual World Islamic Banking Conference: Asia Summit (WIBC Asia 2011) which will be held on the 8th and 9th of June 2011 in Singapore, will set the stage for critical discussions that will enable the further development of Islamic finance by bringing together industry leaders to explore and capitalize on exciting new opportunities in Asia and to foster new business partnerships and boost cross-border connectivity.
Announcing the launch of the 2nd annual edition of WIBC Asia, David McLean, Managing Director of the World Islamic Banking Conference noted that “after its hugely successful launch last year, WIBC Asia 2011 will focus on "Enhancing Cross-Border Connectivity to Drive Global Growth".
“With the increasing internalization of Islamic finance, industry leaders are looking to boost cross-border growth opportunities and Asia is rapidly strengthening its position as a leading hub for significant Islamic finance transactions", he added.
He also said that “the World Islamic Banking Conference (WIBC), held annually in the Kingdom of Bahrain, has firmly established itself as the world's largest and most influential platform over the past 18 years, attracting more than 1,200 industry leaders from over 50 countries each year. WIBC Asia 2011 will complement the objectives of the world event, and will provide meaningful insights into the expanding role of Islamic finance as a conduit for trade and capital flows between Asia and other key centres for Islamic finance.”
Speaking ahead of the event, Ng Nam Sin, Assistant Managing Director (Development) at the Monetary Authority of Singapore said that "WIBC Asia has a special focus on Asia and will provide a unique platform for the industry to share knowledge and experience from more established centres and players in Islamic finance. The conference is an important platform to bring delegates from all over the world to Asia to explore new opportunities to tap Islamic finance and to work closely together. It will also bring about greater awareness within Singapore's financial and business community of the growing opportunities and potential of Islamic finance."
The 2nd Annual World Islamic Banking Conference: Asia Summit is set to begin on the 8th of June with an inaugural address by H.E. Lim Hng Kiang, Minister for Trade and Industry, Republic of Singapore and Deputy Chairman, Monetary Authority of Singapore. The inaugural address will be immediately followed by an opening keynote session by Tan Sri Zarinah Anwar, Chairman, Securities Commission Malaysia and H.E. Mohd Rosli Sabtu, Managing Director, Autoriti Monetari Brunei Darussalam (AMBD). The session focuses on enhancing the role of Islamic finance in creating stronger business and investment ties between Asia and other key Islamic financial centres. Keynote addresses will provide new insights into the recent developments in Asia and other key markets for Islamic finance and will also evaluate various initiatives undertaken to develop cross-border connectivity and accelerate global growth.
A key highlight of WIBC Asia 2011 will be the new innovative Power Debate session led by internationally respected CEOs and industry leaders. Moderated by Haslinda Amin of Bloomberg Television, this dynamic session will analyze the new cross-border growth opportunities and define the future of Islamic finance in a global industry. The Power Debate session will feature Shayne Nelson, Chairman of Standard Chartered Saadiq and Chief Executive Officer and Global Head of Standard Chartered Private Banking of Standard Chartered; Toby O’Connor, Chief Executive Officer of the Islamic Bank of Asia; Badlisyah Abdul Ghani, Executive Director/Chief Executive Officer of CIMB Islamic Bank Berhad; Hussain AlQemzi, Chief Executive Officer of Noor Islamic Bank and Group Chief Executive Officer, Noor Investment Group; Muzaffar Hisham, Chief Executive Officer of Maybank Islamic and Ikbal Daredia, Chief Executive Officer of Unicorn International Islamic Bank Malaysia.
Confirming his participation in the event Badlisyah Abdul Ghani, Executive Director/Chief Executive Officer of CIMB Islamic Bank Berhad said that “With the increasing internationalization of the Islamic finance industry, it is essential to build deeper relationships between the key markets for Islamic finance and understand the developments in various regions. The World Islamic Banking Conference: Asia Summit provides a collaborative platform bringing together industry leaders from various regions to share their knowledge and experience to facilitate a deeper understanding of how Islamic finance needs to be spearheaded into its next phase of development in the region.”
“We are once again delighted to be associated with WIBC Asia as Leadership Partner and Conference Luncheon Host and we look forward to this important gathering”, he added.
A similar view was expressed by Muzaffar Hisham, Chief Executive Officer of Maybank Islamic who said that “Maybank Islamic Bank Berhad (“MIB”), the Islamic banking arm of Maybank Group is currently the number one Islamic banking player in the region based on asset size which totals up to RM 55 billion. MIB is committed to meeting the exciting and challenging developments of the Islamic banking and finance industry both regionally and globally.”
He said that “there is an increasing trade and investment flows between countries worldwide and this offers substantial business opportunities for Islamic finance. Regionally we are actively pursuing opportunities for growth in Indonesia, Singapore and Brunei whilst working closely with regulators to ensure sound governance for the industry in the respective countries. We see our presence in China as an enabler to establish the new “Silk Road” in finance as MIB is also present in the Middle East through the set up in Bahrain and as well as Saudi’s Joint Venture with Anfaal Capital.”
“Held under the theme “Islamic Finance in Asia: Enhancing Cross-Border Connectivity to Drive Global Growth”, we see the 2nd Annual World Islamic Banking Conference: Asia Summit as an important global platform to further explore the growing global connectivity of Islamic finance. We are once again delighted to be platinum strategic partners of WIBC Asia 2011”, he added.
WIBC Asia 2011 will also feature a special keynote address by Prof. Kishore Mahbubani, the Dean and Professor in the Practice of Public Policy at the Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy (LKY School) at the National University of Singapore on the 9th of June 2011. Having found his place in the Foreign Policy Top 100 Global Thinkers of 2010 and the 2009 Financial Times list of Top 50 individuals who would shape the debate on the future of capitalism, Prof. Mahbubani is widely recognized as a key figure in shaping the global conversation and being the voice of a new Asian century.