Leading players, industry thought leaders and key regulators in the international Islamic banking and finance industry will take part in the 19th Annual World Islamic Banking Conference (WIBC 2012), which is set to commence on the 9th of December 2012 at the Gulf Hotel in the Kingdom of Bahrain. Held under the theme “Islamic Finance: Adapting to the New Dynamics of Global 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.
Commenting on the Central Bank of Bahrain’s support for the event, Khalid Hamad Abdul-Rahman Hamad, Executive Director - Banking Supervision at the Central Bank of Bahrain said that “the banking sector will witness considerable local and international regulatory changes, and the people who are in charge of managing banks need to adapt to these new realities. The World Islamic Banking Conference (WIBC) will be a high profile platform to examine these realities and focus on these constraints. I hope that the discussions that will take place during the 19th Annual WIBC between leaders of the banking sector will enhance the industry.”
“The Central Bank of Bahrain is once again honored to support this prominent international event”, he added.
Speaking to the media ahead of the event, David McLean, Chief Executive of the World Islamic Banking Conference (WIBC) said that “the global Islamic financial services industry continues to experience double digit growth, with recent estimates indicating that global Shari’ah-compliant assets now stand between USD 1.1 – 1.3 trillion. The range of products and services offered has also widened from primarily retail banking products to more sophisticated capital market instruments catering to a global audience. With the dynamic nature of the industry, Islamic finance is set to further grow by tapping its potential in new high-growth markets and is set to play a key role in financing the development of economies in both emerging and developed markets. Islamic finance 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. 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 in order to achieve sustainable growth.”
A similar view was expressed by Abdul-Kareem Abu Al-Nasr, Chief Executive Officer of the National Commercial Bank who noted that “continuing on its successful high growth trajectory, the Islamic finance industry is now poised for its next phase of global expansion. As a unique form of financial intermediation, Islamic finance incorporates several elements that guide the process of the mobilisation and allocation of funds to generate productive economic activity and inclusive development thereby becoming an important avenue for international fund raising and investment activities, generating significant cross-border flows. As Islamic finance extends its reach to serve the global community and becomes an integral part of the global financial system, it will need to better synchronize with the new dynamics of the post-crisis global financial landscape.”
“The National Commercial Bank (NCB) has been supporting the World Islamic Banking Conference for many years now and we see this event as one of those important global gatherings which undoubtedly plays a key role in facilitating dialogue among the international industry leaders on shaping the future of the industry. We are once again delighted to be partnering with WIBC 2012 and we look forward to the critical discussions at this year’s event”, he added.
WIBC 2012 will begin on the 9th of December 2012 with a series of pre-conference summits. The pragmatically focused pre-conference executive briefing sessions, 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 2012 conference, which begins on the 10th of December 2012, 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 opening keynote address by H.E. Khaled Mohammed Al-Aboodi, Chief Executive Officer and General Manager of the Islamic Corporation for the Development of the Private Sector, the private sector arm of the Islamic Development Bank Group (IDB), Saudi Arabia. The session, focusing on capacity building to support the international development of Islamic finance, will discuss key initiatives that will enhance the supervisory architecture facilitating harmonization, cross-border linkages and the international development of Islamic finance – and, crucially, its benefits to the real economy in key markets.
A major highlight of WIBC 2012 will be the high profile Industry Leaders’ Power Debate led by internationally respected CEOs and decision-makers from the key players in the industry. Led by Andrew Barstow, Partner, MENA Financial Services, Ernst and Young, this dynamic session will analyse the new growth strategies for Islamic finance and will address the challenges of driving operational transformation to achieve sustainable profitable growth in the Islamic banking and finance industry. The Power Debate featuring Adnan Ahmed Yousif, Board Member and President & Chief Executive of Al Baraka Banking Group; Toby O’Connor, Chief Executive Officer of the Islamic Bank of Asia; Suliman Azzabin, Chief Executive Officer of Al Rajhi Bank; Salah Jaidah, Chairman - Islamic Finance of Deutsche Bank AG; and Asad Aziz Ahmed, Managing Director of Gulf African Bank; will also analyse the critical success factors that will propel the Islamic finance industry to its next level of growth.
WIBC 2012 will also feature a special guest address on the potential for Islamic finance in Maghreb countries as exciting new opportunities emerge in a transformational landscape. This address will be delivered by H.E. Jaloul Ayed, Former Minister of Finance of The Republic of Tunisia on the 11th of December 2012.
As a part of the World comes to WIBC Initiative, a leading panel of international experts will converge at the Country Focus Roundtable to address how well-positioned Islamic banks can explore international opportunities in the most dynamically evolving high-growth markets for Islamic finance. The Country Focus Roundtable along with the WIBC Country Pavilions will explore exciting opportunities in key jurisdictions including Bahrain, Qatar, Luxembourg, the United States, the United Kingdom, Bermuda and Mauritius.
WIBC 2012 will also feature for the first time an exclusive US Country Interface which will be inaugurated by H.E. Thomas Krajeski, United States Ambassador to Bahrain and H.E Houda Nonoo, Bahrain Ambassador to the United States; in addition to the UK Country Interface which will be inaugurated by HMA Iain Lindsay OBE, British Ambassador to Bahrain. David C. Chavern, Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce will also be delivering a keynote speech at WIBC 2012.
Confirming his participation at the event David C. Chavern, Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce said that “against the backdrop of unprecedented developments, and despite a host of challenges that lie ahead, the US Chamber of Commerce and American businesses remain optimistic about the future prospects for Bahrain and the broader Middle East region. As markets continue to integrate globally and emerging markets become larger players on the world stage of international finance, the Chamber will continue to advocate for free and fair trade and open access to U.S. markets. This includes enhancing the abilities of American companies through modernizing U.S. export controls and encouraging the globalization of our capital markets. The World Islamic Banking Conference (WIBC) provides an important platform for international leaders and experts to develop their ideas and explore opportunities that can benefit businesses and nations around the world."
WIBC 2012 will feature 94 leading international speakers, and more than 60 market-leading industry partners and exhibitors showcasing their latest innovations at the World Islamic Banking Exhibition organised along the sidelines of the conference. The exhibition will be officially inaugurated on the 10th of December, while more than 1,200 delegates from over 50 countries will attend WIBC 2012.
The eagerly anticipated 2012/13 edition of the World Islamic Banking Competitiveness Report, developed in collaboration with Ernst & Young, will also be launched on-site at the 19th Annual World Islamic Banking Conference in a specially convened plenary session on the 10th of December 2012. Announcing the launch of the Ernst & Young World Islamic Banking Competitiveness Report 2012/13, Ashar Nazim, Partner, Global Islamic Banking Excellence Center at Ernst & Young said that “the global Islamic finance industry is in a transitory phase at the moment, trying to sustain profitability while continuing to grow market share. We believe that Islamic finance has an important opportunity to drive its competitiveness as it expands to emerging and populous economies. The WIBC 2012 is an appropriate platform for Ernst & Young to share our knowledge of the Islamic Banking industry. We will be analyzing new growth strategies and addressing the challenges of driving new sustainable and profitable growth.”