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The Islamic Financial Services Industry players commit to the Implementation of the 10 Year Masterplan

Beirut, 17 May 2006 - “The 10-year Master Plan for the Islamic Financial Services Industry requires a stronger commitment from the regulatory and supervisory authorities to support its implementation through their respective national Master Plans” – this is the focal point agreed upon by the speakers at the 3rd Islamic Financial Services Board Summit held this morning at the Intercontinental Phoenicia, Beirut.

Deliberating on the session entitled “Highlighting the Vision of the Islamic Financial Services Industry in Reinforcing its Role in Economics Development, H.E. Dr Habib Al-Mulla, Chairman of the Dubai Financial Services Authority, H.E. Datuk Zamani Abdul Ghani, Deputy Governor of Bank Negara Malaysia and Mr Hiroshi Tsubota, Regional Finance Officer at the World Bank, agreed that there is an urgent need to strengthen the financial architecture of the Islamic financial services industry in the wake of its unprecedented growth especially in the past decade. Regulatory and supervisory authorities now need to understand the whole spectrum of risks associated with Islamic financial services and put in place appropriate legal and regulatory framework in order to ensure that its rapid expansion does not disrupt the soundness and stability of the financial system.

In another session entitled “Strengthening the Role of Islamic Finance in Economics Development, the speakers Mr David Vicary of Hong Leong Islamic Bank Malaysia, Mr Toufic Kanafani of Noriba Bank Bahrain and Mr Edy Setiadi of Bank Indonesia recognized that a comprehensive architecture that caters for the needs of the Islamic financial services industry would facilitate its full integration as part of the global financial system. This would not only make the Islamic financial services industry more competitive against its conventional counterpart, but also remove the stigma that Islamic financial products are niche instruments that can only suit Muslims’ religious belief but are incompatible with the modern economics framework.

The Summit, themed “Aligning the Architecture of Islamic Finance to the Evolving Industry Needs”, is one of the most prestigious annual gatherings for the Islamic financial services fraternity. Earlier today, His Excellency Mr Fuad Siniora, Prime Minister of Lebanon delivered the Opening Address. More than 300 delegates comprising regulators, bankers, academics and practitioners from IFSB member and non-member countries attended the Summit, including prominent dignitaries like President of the Asian Development Bank (ADB), H.E. Mr Haruhiko Kuroda, Governor of Banque Du Liban, H.E. Mr Riad Salame, Secretary-General of the IFSB, Professor Rifaat Ahmed Abdel Karim, as well as the governors of several central banks.

The Summit ends tomorrow.

The Islamic Financial Services Board (IFSB), which is based in Malaysia, was officially inaugurated on 3rd November 2002. It serves as an international-standard setting body of regulatory and supervisory agencies that have vested interest in ensuring the soundness and stability of the Islamic financial services industry, which is defined broadly to include banking, capital market and insurance. In advancing this mission, the IFSB promotes the development of a prudent and transparent Islamic financial services industry through introducing new, or adapting existing international standards consistent with Islamic Shari’a principles, and recommend them for adoption. To this end, the work of the IFSB complements that of the Basel Committee on Banking Supervision, International Organization of Securities Commissions and the International Association of Insurance Supervisors.

The 88 members of the IFSB include 21 regulatory & supervisory authorities as well as the International Monetary Fund, the World Bank, Bank for International Settlements, the Islamic Development Bank, the Asian Development Bank, and 62 financial institutions from 16 countries.

Press contact:
Ms Siham Ismail
Islamic Financial Services Board
Mobile: +603 2698 4248

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