KARACHI: State Bank Governor Dr Shamshad Akhtar has said that Pakistan is a growing market for Islamic banking and the central bank would extend co-operation to all such institutions that practice this mode of financing. She was speaking as chief guest at the inauguration of the International Islamic Finance Conference began here at a local hotel on Wednesday.
The governor discussed various aspect of Islamic financial management system and called upon the participants to come up with products distinctly different from the existing banking products and services. She emphasised on the need for research and development that may attract people in Islamic financing.
She said, "Such event serve to supplement international Islamic finance market's core work of promoting transparency through Islamic capital market infrastructure initiatives such as contracts standardisation." She said, " Meezan Bank is the strategic partner for this event and has been appointed as IIFM's representatives office in Pakistan to promote its activities.
The IIFM was established in Bahrain in 2002 by the Islamic Development Bank, the central banks of Bahrain, Malaysia, Sudan and Indonesia and the Brunei finance ministry. The mission of the IIFM, a globally focussed non-profit institution, is to develop global primary Islamic capital and short term financial market and, subsequently, the creation of a secondary market for Islamic financial instruments.
In his paper Ijlal Alvi, CEO of the Bahrain based IIFM said, "Islamic finance is one of the fastest growing segments of international finance. The demand for Islamic financial instruments, too, has far outstripped that for conventional products."
He said that aukuks were the first Islamic products to be launched in 2000. Since then, the sovereign and corporate sukuk in excess of US $50 billion have been issued. Expectations are that its popularity would surpass the $200 billion marks by 2010.
The International Islamic Financial Market and Islamic Research and Training Institute have organised the conference titled "Setting the foundation of a robust and sustainable Islamic financial market