With an estimated growth rate of 15-20 percent, the Islamic finance industry  will continue to be one of the fastest growing components of the global financial system, industry experts have asserted.
Most obervers agree that international markets are witnessing an expanding demand for Islamic financial products  and services even beyond the traditional markets of South East Asia and the Middle East.
The experts made the statement in a prelude to the 8th Annual World Islamic Funds and Financial Markets Conference (WIFFMC 2012), that will open today at the Gulf Hotel in the Kingdom.
To be held under the theme 'New Growth Horizons: Expanding the Global Footprint of Islamic Funds and Investments', the two-day event will gather leading players, industry thought leaders and key regulators in the international Islamic funds and investments  industry for discussions that will seek to capitalise on the new opportunities and chart the future direction of the global Sharia-compliant funds and investments industry.
The Central Bank of Bahrain (CBB) is the official patron of the conference and the apex bank's Executive Director for Financial Institutions Supervision Abdul Rahman Al Baker will deliver the opening keynote address.
Speaking ahead of the event, Mr. Al Baker said: "The Islamic funds industry has gained significant interest as a viable and efficient alternative model of financial intermediation."