The two-day World Islamic Finance Forum (WIFF) 2018 arranged by Centre for Excellence in Islamic Finance at Institute of Business Administration (CEIF-IBA) will kick off on 19th March in Karachi. Addressing a press conference, here on Saturday Ahmed Ali Siddiqui Director CEIF-IBA informed that Chairman Accounting and Auditing Organization for Islamic Financial Institutions (AAOIFI) Board of Trustees Shaikh Ebrahim Bin Khalifa Al Khalifa would be the chief guest at World Islamic Finance Forum (WIFF) 2018.
Former governor State Bank of Pakistan Dr Ishrat Hussain, Dr Farrukh Iqbal Dean and Director IBA and President Meezan Bank Limited Irfan Siddiqui and Rizwan Husain Managing Director Takaful Pakistan were also present on the occasion.
Ahmed said that WIFF is being organised by CEIF-IBA in collaboration with LUMS and International Centre for Education in Islamic Finance (INCEIF) to bring together researchers, academicians and practitioners for generating innovative ideas to stimulate Islamic Finance growth while overcoming present day industry challenges. The two-day conference would be held at a local hotel in Karachi on 19th and 20th March, 2018, he added.
Governor State Bank of Pakistan Tariq Bajwa, Chairman, Securities Exchange Commission of Pakistan (SECP) Zafar Abdullah, Dr Ishrat Husain, Chairman, CEIF- IBA, Shaikh Muhammad Taqi Usmani, Shari'ah Board Chairman, Accounting and Auditing Organisation for Islamic Financial Institutions (AAOIFI); Chairman Shari'ah Board Meezan Bank and Deputy President Dar-ul-Uloom Karachi, Presidents of Islamic banks and many other important figures from national and international financial institutions are participating in this international conference.
Ahmed Ali informed that prominent Shari'ah scholars, renowned academicians, SBP, SECP, Islamic Research and Training Institute (IRTI), Islamic Finance News (IFN), World Bank, Islamic Corporation for the Development of the Private Sector (ICD), International Centre for Education in Islamic Finance, Accounting and Auditing Organization for Islamic Financial Institutions (AAOIFI), Deloitte & Touché in addition to key local and global Islamic financial institutions are participating in this mega event.
Overall, 17 global and 15 local institutions would be represented by industry experts on the Speaker Panels throughout the two-day conference. Global Islamic Finance Hubs including KSA, Bahrain, Malaysia and other GCC countries are participating in the conference. Additionally, speakers from Bosnia-Herzegovina, USA, UK, Turkey and China are also participating in WIFF 2016, he added.
Addressing the press conference, Dr Ishrat Hussain hoped that this forum will help to promote Islamic Banking in Pakistan. He said that Islamic banking penetration in the Pakistan is less than expectation.
A survey conducted by SBP shows that 76 percent of population seeking Islamic Banking system, however with 10-year struggle the Islamic Banking industry can get share of 12 percent in overall banking industry, he added.
He said that there is a need to take some steps on the government level to promote the Islamic banking in the country.
Dr Farrukh Iqbal Dean and Director IBA said that research papers and case studies presentation at WIFF 2018 would be focused on areas crucial for the expansion of Islamic Finance industry. Around 50 speakers representing regulatory bodies, Islamic finance infrastructure institutions, Islamic banks/windows, asset management companies, advisory firms and Takaful players will be part of the event.
He informed that research papers/case studies will be appraised by a renowned committee of practitioners and Shari'ah scholars. The 1st position has a hefty reward of $ 5000, whereas the 2nd & 3rd positions would be awarded $ 3000 and $ 2000 respectively. Furthermore, 3 consolation prizes of US $ 500 each will be given in the Conference.
President Meezan Bank Limited Irfan Siddiqui said that WIFF 2018 is a unique conference being organized by CEIF-IBA to bring together researchers, academicians and practitioners for generating innovative ideas to expand Islamic Finance growth through innovation, Fintech and Regulations.
Against this backdrop, the role envisaged for various stakeholders, especially the regulator, to expand the outreach will be discussed by Islamic finance visionaries at the conference, he added.
Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer Takaful Pakistan Rizwan Hussain appreciated the role of IBA CEIF in bridging the gap between industry and academia.
On behalf of Takaful Pakistan, he also announced to contribute for the promotion of Islamic finance in the country. "We will spend a huge amount from our part to promote the Islamic finance in Pakistan", he added.
Other distinguished guests include Dato' Dr Azmi Omar President & CEO, INCEIF, Najmul Hassan Director FIDD ICD (Saudi Arabia), Dr. Zamir Iqbal World Bank Islamic Finance Development Centre (Turkey), Dr. Muhammad Imran Ashraf Usmani Group Head Product Development & Shari'ah Compliance and Resident Shari'ah Board Member Meezan Bank, Amer Bukvic CEO Bosna Bank International (Bosnia-Herzegovina), Ashar Nazim Managing Director Finocracy (Bahrain), Saeed Ahmed, President & CEO National Bank of Pakistan, Dr. Necdet Sensoy Member of Board, Central Bank of the Republic of Turkey, Dr Mukhtar Ahmed Chairman Higher Education Commission (HEC), Farrukh Raza Founder & Managing Director IFAAS (UK), Dr. Salman Syed Ali Senior Researcher IRTI (KSA), Dr. Aishath Muneeza Associate professor INCEIF (Malaysia) and Muhammad Nasir Ali Syed, CEO Pak-Qatar Family Takaful will be amongst others participants.