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Friday, November 29, 2013

More than 1,300 international Islamic finance leaders heading to WIBC

The 20th Anniversary special edition of the World Islamic Banking Conference (WIBC 2013), which is held under the patronage of HRH Prince Khalifa Bin Salman Al Khalifa, The Prime Minister of the Kingdom of Bahrain and supported by the Central Bank of Bahrainis scheduled to be held in Bahrain from the 3rd to the 5th of December 2013.
The annual World Islamic Banking Conference (WIBC), which over the last 2 decades has established its pre-eminent position as the world's largest and most influential annual gathering of global Islamic finance industry leaders, is set to gather industry pioneers, thought leaders, key regulators and leading industry players for discussions focused on transforming the industry to improve the stability, competitiveness and global growth of the international Islamic finance industry.
Confirming his participation at the event, H.E. Rasheed Mohammed Al Maraj, Governor of the Central Bank of Bahrain, noted that "the global Islamic finance industry has undoubtedly undergone significant change over the past two decades, playing an ever increasing role in the international financial system. The industry has also grown significantly in geographic coverage, now encompassing even more new jurisdictions and emerging markets as well as the deepening and mainstreaming of its footprint in its core markets. However, in order for Islamic finance to continue to be successful as well as robust and resilient across all phases of the economic cycle, a genuine transformation is now required in order to progress to the next level of development."
"The annual World Islamic Banking Conference has over the last two decades, played a key role in shaping the global Islamic financial industry providing a solid foundation for the industry leaders to chart the progressive growth of Islamic finance. As WIBC celebrates its 20th anniversary this year, it will be the most opportune platform for the industry leaders and key regulators to not only look back at the industry's achievements over the past two decades but also discuss new initiatives to further strengthen the industry foundations and set targets for the next two decades of continued growth and resilience. As the strategic partner of this prestigious event, the Central Bank of Bahrain would like to invite the industry leaders to the Kingdom of Bahrain and be a part of this special 20th anniversary edition of this unique global gathering," added the Governor.
Speaking to the media ahead of the event, David McLean, Chief Executive of the World Islamic Banking Conference said that "growing awareness of and demand for investing in accordance with Shari'ah principles on a global scale has been a major catalyst towards making Islamic financial services a flourishing industry with total assets now in excess of US$1.3 trillion. With the evolving life cycle of the Islamic finance industry, the business models and strategies, regulatory and supervisory frameworks, and legal structures must also evolve to ensure that further progress is achieved. For the last 2 decades, the World Islamic Banking Conference has been a significant platform for the global Islamic finance industry to converge and discuss the way forward, catering to the ever evolving needs of the industry. From a mere 120 pioneering delegates at its launch way back in 1994, the 20th Anniversary WIBC is set to continue its tradition of supporting growth, excellence and innovation in the industry - and is poised break new records in 2013 with more than 1,300 attendees from over 50 countries set to join over 100 high-profile speakers and 65 market-leading partners and sponsors for a very special and unique event that will celebrate the tremendous achievements made thus far and prepare the industry to forge ahead with more success in the years ahead. As the World Islamic Banking Conference now celebrates its 20th Anniversary, we are looking forward to hosting the leaders of the global industry at this important gathering to celebrate the success that our dynamic industry has achieved and also deliberate on what needs to be done to further strengthen its global growth".
The three day event will commence on the 3rd of December 2013 with a series of pragmatically focused pre-conference summits led by experienced and respected international industry standard-setting bodies and experts. The main WIBC 2013 conference, which begins on the 4th of December 2013, 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 keynote address by H.E. Dr. Mohammad Y. Al-Hashel, Governor of the Central Bank of Kuwait.
This year's WIBC features the most impressive line-up of speakers in the conference's 20 years of history. Key highlights of WIBC 2013 include the interactive dialogue with H.E. Sheikh Saleh Abdullah Kamel, Chairman and Founder of Dallah Al Baraka Group; one of the genuine pioneers of the industry and widely acclaimed as the father of contemporary Islamic finance, who will share his perspectives of Islamic finance past, present and future during an onstage conversation with acclaimed media personality Turki Al Dakhil of Al Arabiya News Channel.
In addition, much attention will also be on the special guest address by Sir Howard Davies, Former Chairman, Financial Services Authority; Former Deputy Governor, Bank of England and Professor, Sciences Po, Paris. The keynote session featuring Sir Howard Davies will provide new insights on the future of banking regulation and its implications for Islamic financial institutions.
WIBC 2013 will also include a high profile Industry Leaders' Power Debate featuring internationally respected CEOs and decision-makers from the key players in the industry. Led by Ashar Nazim, Partner, Head of Islamic Banking Excellence Center, Ernst & Young and featuring Badlisyah Abdul Ghani, Executive Director/Chief Executive Officer of CIMB Islamic Bank Berhad; Afaq Khan, Chief Executive Officer, Standard Chartered Saadiq; Toby O'Connor, Chief Executive Officer of the Islamic Bank of Asia; and Steve Troop, Group Chief Executive Officer of Barwa Bank, the power debate session will analyse what changes the Islamic finance industry must undergo in order to adapt and evolve to meet the evolving needs of the end-user.
The eagerly anticipated World Islamic Banking Competitiveness Report, an original research project led by Ernst & Young's award winning Global Islamic Banking Center, will also be launched on-site at WIBC 2013. This year's special anniversary edition of the WIBC Competitiveness Report will analyse the performance of the industry, the missed opportunities, the strategic priorities, and the transformation that is underway to move the industry to a sustainably profitable path.
'The World Comes to WIBC Initiative' has also been further expanded this year and will feature official delegations representing exciting jurisdictions for Islamic finance including Bahrain, Luxembourg, the United Kingdom, Canada and Azerbaijan. WIBC 2013 will also feature a special ceremonial awards function that will recognize excellence, innovation and pioneering initiatives in the global Islamic banking and finance industry looking back over the past 20 years of WIBC.
The 20th Anniversary special edition of the World Islamic Banking Conference (WIBC 2013) is set to convene more than 1,300 industry leaders representing over 50 countries in the Kingdom of Bahrain from the 3rd to the 5th of December 2013 to not only celebrate the tremendous growth that the international Islamic finance industry has achieved over the past 2 decades but also to revisit and re-mould the critical success factors that will enable the industry to achieve the next set of milestones.

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