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Islamic finance in CIS Region

Observer Report

Kazan (Russia)

The General Council for Islamic Banks and Financial Institutions (CIBAFI), the global umbrella of Islamic financial institutions, conducted an InFocus Session themed “Islamic Finance in the CIS Region: A Path for Integration in the Financial System to Achieve Economic Growth and Sustainable Development”. The session was featured as part of the 11th International Economic Summit “Russia – Islamic World: Kazansummit 2019” in Kazan, Tatarstan, Russia.
CIBAFI signature InFocus Session followed a successful series organised in 2017 by CIBAFI and Tatarstan Investment Development Agency (TIDA). This year’s session gathered an international panel of distinguished speakers and Islamic finance industry stakeholders to discuss emerging opportunities, prospects and challenges for the integration of Islamic finance within the CIS region. It discussed how Islamic finance is represented as a means for the achievement of sustainable development within the region and determine the key milestones needed for its effective implementation.
The session was opened by welcoming remarks from Mr. Abdelilah Belatik, Secretary General of CIBAFI. Prof. Dr. Necdet ªensoy, Former Board Member of the Central Bank of the Republic of Turkey chaired the panel that included Mr. Osman Akyuz, Assembly Member of Istanbul Chamber of Commerce and Secretary General of the Participation Banks Association of Turkey, Mr. Hikmat F. Aliyev, Director of Julius Baer (Middle East) Ltd., Prof. Dr. Ahcene Lahsasna, Chief Executive Officer of Salihin Shariah Advisory, and Mr. Iskander R. Iskhakov, Head of Islamic Banking of AK BARS Bank.
Speaking about the InFocus Session, Mr. Abdelilah Belatik commented: “It is our pleasure to be working again with Tatarstan Investment Development Agency (TIDA) to bring this second series of the InFocus Session, following the successful run in 2017. This InFocus Session is designed to open a fruitful discussion with distinguished speakers and Islamic finance industry stakeholders about key topics on the integration of Islamic finance in the CIS financial system in order to achieve economic growth and sustainable development in the region.”
As Islamic finance continues to expand and strengthen its position globally, the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) region has been seeing its integration within its financial system as a potential opportunity to tap into alternative investment and funding sources for catering the needs of its domestic market. CIBAFI InFocus Session served as a platform for important discussions such as the growth of the Islamic finance services industry globally as well as analyzing the level of maturity of Islamic finance within the CIS region.
The session also witnessed important approaches for Islamic finance integration in the absence of a regulatory framework and the involvement of Islamic finance practitioners in the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
This initiative is aligned with CIBAFI’s first strategic objective of Advocacy of Islamic Finance Values and related Policies & Regulations. CIBAFI continues to support the Islamic financial services industry through various activities and initiatives, including providing industry stakeholders with a platform to discuss emerging issues, representing the industry at major global financial events, and sharing knowledge through specialized publications and comprehensive training programmes.