Doha: HE Minister of Finance Ali Shareef Al Emadi said that Qatar’s Islamic Banks is the third largest contributor to global growth in Islamic banking, with Qatari Islamic banking accounting for about 25% of the country’s banking sector.
Addressing the 4th Doha Islamic Finance Conference on Tuesday, HE the Minister of Finance said that the State of Qatar has demonstrated its ability to continue in this field and to fulfill all its commitments with other countries.
HE the Minister called for continued growth in the Islamic finance sector through concerted efforts to confront financial risks and increasing the efficiency of Islamic financial services in order to ensure growth and expansion of Shariah-compliant financial transactions, and contribute to building a diversified knowledge-based economy.
HE Minister Ali Shareef Al Emadi said that the conference provides an opportunity to meet with local and international partners to discuss further cooperation and coordination in the field of Islamic banking, which has achieved strong growth rates around the world. Many countries around the world have turned to Islamic finance to diversify their financial services, strengthen working relationships with their important partners to increase capital inflows, and reduce risk through expansion of less volatile banking systems.
In this regard, HE the Minister noted that the data from the International Monetary Fund show the growth of the assets of Islamic banks from 200 billion dollars in 2003 to 1.9 trillion dollars in 2016, adding that the latest estimates reveal that Islamic finance accounts for 50% of banking services in the GCC, Where most GCC citizens prefer Sharia-compliant banking services.
HE the Minister said that Doha Islamic Finance Conference comes amid expectations that Islamic banking will achieve significant growth rates in the coming period, while the conference also coincides with important developments both on the level of the global financial system or the expectations of the global economy growth, leading to the emergence of multiple challenges to the process of expansion in Islamic banking, the most important of which is the provision of diversified Sharia’a compliant banking systems and products to meet the current and future needs of societies. This requires the promotion of innovation in Islamic finance to help hundreds of millions of customers around the world access high quality, affordable, Sharia’a compliant banking services.
HE Minister of Finance Ali Shareef Al Emadi said that the past decade has seen significant progress in raising the capabilities and expertise of employees in the traditional banking sector and the provisions and standards of the Islamic financial transactions, where the skills in the field of Islamic finance are increasing, which provides a strong basis for further development and growth in Islamic banking and Takaful and re-Takaful services.
HE the Minister noted that more international universities are adopting programs in Islamic finance, including the Master of Islamic Finance at Hamad bin Khalifa University in Qatar, which reflects the importance of the role of Islamic finance in the global economy.
HE said that the recent developments in the world, especially with regard to the rapid growth of electronic financial transactions, whether banking or investment in the financial markets, or the rapid spread of electronic currencies, have brought with it new and growing challenges to the Islamic financial transactions requiring further cooperation, coordination and discussion to find appropriate solutions in dealing with these challenges and to achieve further growth in the sector.
HE Minister of Finance added that continuing innovation and development in offering new Islamic banking products to customers and investors is one of the most important challenges facing the sector, saying that the emergence of new products requires the development of clear frameworks that help clearly define the new product, determine its provisions, calculate its profit, product flowchart, and define whether the product type is investment or financing, as well as the relationship between the borrower and the lender.
HE the Minister of Finance said that increasing transparency in this field will help Shariah scholars to identify the correct structure of Islamic financial products and how it work, and it will enable banks to make these products more attractive to customers and investors.
HE the Minister of Finance expressed his hope that the conference, which provides an important opportunity to discuss the latest developments in Islamic banking and the challenges facing Islamic finance in the light of the global developments, would achieve the desired results in supporting and enhancing cooperation and coordination among all concerned parties to ensure growth in the Islamic financial sector.