KARACHI: President Karachi Chamber of Commerce and Industry (KCCI) Junaid Esmail Makda has stressed the need for Public-Private Partnership ventures to bring together researchers, academicians, Islamic Shariah scholars and practitioners for generating innovative ideas to stimulate growth of Islamic finance and overcoming the present-day challenges being faced by the industry.
Speaking as chief guest at the concluding session of 8th Annual Islamic Finance Expo & Conference (IFEC) organized by the Professionals Network and IBA-CEIF, he said that the government and regulatory bodies such as the State Bank of Pakistan and Securities Exchange Commission of Pakistan need to develop policies that create a more conducive environment for Islamic banks to flourish.
“Furthermore, schemes that encourage participation in the development and use of Islamic banking would provide a better environment for Islamic banks to fulfil their potential”, he added.
Appreciating the organizers of Islamic Finance Expo, Junaid Makda said that it was really heartening to various stakeholders from Banks, Stock Exchanges, Securities Companies, Leasing Companies, Insurance Companies, Investment Companies, Asset Management Companies, Fund Management Companies, Financial Education Institutes and IT Firms under one-roof who held intense discussions and gave their valuable suggestions which would certainly prove favorable for the entire Islamic Banking Sector.
He pointed out that the network of Islamic banking industry consisted of 22 Islamic banking institutions; five full-fledged Islamic banks and 17 conventional banks having standalone Islamic banking branches while net investments of Islamic banking industry increased by 19.9 percent to Rs617 billion by the end of March 2019 which clearly indicates the potential of Islamic Banking in Pakistan.
“Assets of Islamic banking industry, while recording a quarterly growth of 4.9 percent, increased by Rs132 billion to reach Rs2,790 billion during the quarter January to March, 2019 and the deposits of Islamic banking industry stood at Rs2,199 billion”, he added.
Junaid Makda was of the opinion that people in Pakistan generally lack information on Islamic banking due to lack of awareness of the concept and its limited usage in Pakistan and that is why a large number of people consider Islamic financing to be the same as conventional banking.
There is a general view that Saudi Arabia, Malaysia, UAE, Bangladesh, Iran, Bahrain and other Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries are prolific for Islamic financing. However, Pakistan has a huge potential for growth of Islamic finance as it has all the ingredients such as legal, regulatory, judiciary, tax and political, to ensure its success and sustainability to become a hub of Islamic finance, he opined.
President KCCI was fairly optimistic that Islamic finance was growing in Pakistan and the country will emerge as an Islamic finance hub within the next decade.
Coordinator IFEC and Financial Analyst Ateeq-ur-Rehman, in his short remarks, stressed that Islamic Banks should ensure easy access to Finance for the business and industrial community which was desperately needed to promote expansion and industrialization all over the country that in turn would generate massive employment opportunities and reduce poverty.