Islamic finance proves viability worldwide: Shaikh

The Islamic principles of finance have proved their viability worldwide as the Islamic banking and finance is growing at a rapid pace globally, Federal Minister for Finance and Economic Affairs, Abdul Hafeez Shaikh said Tuesday. “In the wake of recent global financial crisis and debt problem of the third world countries and the Euro Zone, the Islamic banking and finance has established itself and is growing at rapid pace,” he said at the inaugural session of two day International Conference on Islamic Business and Finance. He said the size of Islamic banking was expected to reach $1.3 trillion worldwide in near future and at present more than 1,100 institutions were offering Islamic finance service across the globe. The size of investments in Islamic banking system reached Rs 424 billion till 2010 in the country and government was taking measures to encourage Islamic banking and finance.

He said this system was very productive for the agriculture field, which could take benefit of it, however urged the banks to extend their role and reach the farming community. He said the Islamic banks, coupled with a number of dedicated Islamic academic, legal, regulatory and supervisory institutions could provide a solid platform for future growth and development of the Islamic finance industry. He called up the Islamic banking institutions to enhance awareness about Islamic banking products and develop human resource by facilitating and arranging training workshops, short-term courses and particularly offering post graduate academic institutions.

Vice Chancellor, Riphah International University, Dr Anis Ahmed said the purpose of the conference was not only to discuss the present state of national and international economies but also to reflect our faith and belief. Senator, Prof. Khursheed Ahmed said adoption of Islamic way of banking was the need of the hour and the Islamic banking and finance represents a change of paradigm. He said new approach was needed to change the fundamentals of finance to evolve a new financial and economic system and urged upon the participants of the conference to revisit the fundamentals and realise the importance of Islamic banking and finance. The conference has been organised by Riphah Centre of Islamic Business a constituent institute of Riphah International University. – Daily Times