MANAMA: A major two-day regional forum on the role of Islamic financial institutions in furthering economic and social development opens in Bahrain today. Held under the patronage of Prime Minister Shaikh Khalifa bin Salman Al Khalifa, the forum at the Ritz-Carlton Bahrain, Hotel and Spa is being organised by the United Nations Economic and Social Commission of Western Asia (UN-ESCWA) in association with the Central Bank of Bahrain (CBB).
It will be attended by government representatives from Arab countries, executive directors of Islamic banks, the governors of several Arab central banks and, researchers from the World Bank and International Monetary Fund and a number of international academics.
Keynote speakers at the conference will be led by CBB Governor Rasheed Al Maraj.
Other prominent keynote speakers will include Islamic Financial Services Board secretary general Dr Rifaat Abdul Karim, UN-ESCWA under-secretary general Bader Al Dafa and Islamic Development Bank vice-president of operations Amadou Boubacar Cisse.
"The Islamic banking and finance industry is seeing tremendous growth and expansion due to the burgeoning demand for financial services which conform to the principles of the Sharia," said CBB executive director of banking supervision Khalid Hamad.
"However, while Islamic financial institutions are active in extending retail banking services, investment banking and other forms of finance, there is room for enhancing their role in development finance," he added