Islamic Eco Conference to be held in Jeddah in April

The 7th Islamic Economic Conference will be held in Jeddah on April 1.

Islamic Eco Conference to be held in Jeddah in April

Economists, business leaders, entrepreneurs, thinkers, bankers and financiers will participate in the three-day event to be hosted by the King Abdul Aziz University (KAAU).

The first Islamic Economic Conference was hosted by KAAU 30 years ago. Since then it has been held in Pakistan, Malaysia, Britain, Bahrain, and Indonesia.

According to Dr. Abdullah Muhammad Bafel, vice-president for higher studies and scientific research at the KAAU, the conference is significant as it would formulate a futuristic economic vision from an Islamic perspective. It will share the findings of research into the Islamic economy.

The conference is expected to provide a platform to explore opportunities in Muslim economies, including an excellent opportunity for networking.

Participants will also discuss the development of natural resources in Muslim countries in light of the challenges and opportunities posed by globalisation.

Islamic banking is the fastest growing sector in the banking industry with an estimated growth between 35 to 40 percent.

With total assets in excess of $ 500 billion, the Islamic banking industry has been growing. Islamic banking has broadened its appeal, and nearly one-quarter of all Islamic banking business is now transacted by non-Muslims.

Asia already has a settled Islamic banking industry and the continued success of financial markets of Hong Kong, China, Singapore and Malaysia offer lucrative long-term prospects for investors.

As strong growth in the Gulf Cooperation Council) GCC produces record economic performance, governments are looking to invest in huge real estate and construction infrastructure projects, energy, telecoms and financial services. The governments of Saudi Arabia and Qatar alone are spending billions of dollars in these sectors and are looking at appropriate ways of funding these projects.

Industry sources say that though Islamic financing sprang out of the Gulf region, Pakistan, Asian countries and the rest of the world are catching up.

According to one expert 80 per cent of Pakistanis prefer Islamic products if all things are equal. "If an Islamic product has the same world standard, same return on the product and the same facility like a competitive conventional banking product has, people will get Islamic product instead of the conventional product,"he said.

Experts say that Islamic banks should grow annually at the rate of 40 to 50 per cent to raise its share from the existing 3.5 per cent to around 15 per cent over the next few years.


Last Mod: 21 Mart 2008, 14:25
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