Bahrain will host the World Islamic Banking Conference (WIBC), the world’s largest and most influential international gathering of Islamic finance industry leaders.
WIBC 2014 will be held in the period December 1-3 with the support of the Central Bank of Bahrain and the Economic Development Board (EDB).
This year marks the event’s 21st anniversary and more than 1,300 delegates from over 50 countries are expected to attend, including 90 specialist speakers and industry thought leaders.
The WIBC has supported growth, excellence and innovation in the global Islamic banking and finance industry for more than two decades. WIBC 2014 will celebrate the tremendous growth of Islamic finance and revisit critical success factors that will enable the industry to fulfil its potential with an ever-growing base of investors and customers.
Dr. Jarmo Kotilaine, Chief Economist at the EDB, will be participating as a specialist speaker on the panel ‘Expanding the Global Reach and Depth of Islamic Finance’ on the first day of the WIBC. The EDB has also invited a number of international journalists from around the world to attend WIBC 2014 and to showcase Bahrain’s role as a global centre for Islamic finance. Journalists are visiting Bahrain from the UK, Germany, India, Malaysia, China and from across the Middle East region.
Kamal bin Ahmed, Minister of Transportation and Acting Chief Executive of the EDB, said:
"We are exceptionally proud that Bahrain will again host the WIBC, as we have done every year since the first event 21 years ago. This year more than 1,300 leaders from around the world will gather in Bahrain to discuss the future of Islamic finance as the industry continues to demonstrate strong growth and expands into new international markets.
"Bahrain has the highest concentration of Islamic finance institutions found anywhere in the world and is a knowledge hub for the industry, a position built on our strong regulation and the most highly skilled workforce in the region. Bahrain is poised to play a crucial role driving forward Islamic finance policy and regulation."
In September 2014 Bahrain was ranked the most developed Islamic financial market in the Middle East and the second in the world by the ICD-Thomson Reuters Islamic Finance Development Indicator (IFDI).
Bahrain is widely recognised as a global leader in Islamic finance and is home to the largest concentration of Islamic financial institutions in the world, including 30 Islamic Banks and Takaful and Retakaful firms. Bahrain is also host to a number of organisations dedicated to advancing Islamic finance policy and regulation, such as the Accounting and Auditing Organisation for Islamic Financial Institutions (AAOIFI), the International Islamic Financial Market (IIFM), the General Council for Islamic Banks and Financial Institutions, the Islamic International Rating Agency (IIRA), the Thomson Reuters Global Islamic Finance Hub, the EY Islamic Financial Services Group, and Deloitte’s Islamic Finance Knowledge Centre, making the Kingdom a knowledge hub for the industry.