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25 Jul | Monday
The IFSB and AMF Sign MoU to Foster the Development of Islamic Finance in Common Member Countries
The Islamic Financial Services Board (IFSB), represented by Mr. Jaseem Ahmed, Secretary-General and the Arab Monetary Fund, represented by H.E. Dr. Abdulrahman A. Al Hamidy, Director General Chairman of the Board signed today in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) for an initial period of three years, to establish and implement a non-exclusive framework for the cooperation and collaboration to promote programmes and initiatives that foster the development of the Islamic finance sector in the Arab region. The IFSB Assistant Secretary-General, Mr. Zahid ur Rehman Khokher has also attended the signing ceremony.
 
On this occasion, H.E. Dr. Abdulrahman A. Al Hamidy stressed the importance of the MoU in increasing capacity-building, promoting knowledge-sharing and supporting greater sustainable access to finance across AMF members’ countries, “Providing assistance to the development of the Islamic finance industry and supporting capacity development in the region has always been among our top priorities, and we look forward to pursuing and intensifying this effort to better tackle the needs of Arab region to building up innovative, robust and competitive financial systems at both domestic and regional levels. Our ongoing cooperation with the IFSB has always been successful and we are glad that today it’s being reinforced and strengthened.”
 
Mr. Jaseem Ahmed said, “The IFSB welcomes the formalisation of our cooperation with the AMF. This MoU provides an excellent platform for the IFSB to engage and build relationships with its members in the Arabic speaking jurisdictions. It is an opportunity to benefit from both institutions’ expertise, especially for enhancing the outreach to member countries for awareness building, exchange of information and knowledge-sharing. Other than conducting joint workshops and training programmes to create awareness on Islamic finance and support the implementation of IFSB Standards, I also look forward to joint research with the AMF on stability and macroprudential supervision of the Islamic finance sector, as well as issues related to financial inclusion in member countries”.
 
In line with their strategic plans for the coming years, the established mutual cooperation aims to strengthen the AMF and the IFSB efforts to leverage their respective core competencies and comparative advantages to promote programmes and initiatives that drive ways to expand Islamic financial and banking sector, with a view to fostering financial stability and promoting increased access to Islamic financial services in the Arab countries.
 
More specifically, the MoU identifies areas of joint work which will include, but are not limited to, (i) advocacy efforts and knowledge sharing to identify and disseminate sound practices in the Islamic financial services industry by organising joint awareness programmes, such as workshops, conferences and seminars; (ii) build the capacity in the Islamic financial services industry in the Arab region with a view to fostering financial stability and promoting increased access to Islamic financial services by organising a dedicated joint training courses and expanding the availability of e-learning programmes and Islamic finance database; and (iii) encourage research and promote awareness of the appropriate legal, regulatory and institutional foundations and proper risk management framework for Islamic financial institutions in particular and the Islamic finance industry in general by cooperating in the development and implementation of international standards and guidelines and providing expertise for joint technical assistance missions and policy dialogues.
 
The global Islamic financial services industry (IFSI) has increased significantly over the past three decades and is worth approximately US$1.9 trillion as of 2015, with even faster growth expected over the coming years. The ongoing growth of the IFSI in the Arab region requires further development to reach its full potential in supporting inclusive growth.. The most obvious is the development of the requisite institutional foundations, including regulatory and appropriate risk management framework. Through the MoU, the AMF and the IFSB will promote Islamic finance as a potential tool supporting the efforts of countries to reach their development goals.
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