Manama : The 24th edition of World Islamic Banking Conference (WIBC), the world’s longest running Islamic banking conference, is set to return to Bahrain this December for three days, and will take stock of the most pressing issues affecting the global financial landscape.
Middle East Global Advisors, a leading financial intelligence platform facilitating the development of knowledge-based economies in the MENASEA markets, announced that the largest and most prestigious gathering of Islamic banking and finance leaders in the world will be held from December 4 to 6 at the ART Rotana Hotel in Amwaj Islands, Bahrain, TradeArabia News Service reported.
The theme for WIBC 2017 – Drivers of Economic Growth & Risks: Policymakers & Regulators is in line with the conference’s steady vision to serve as a compass for the global Islamic finance and banking industry, and is expected to draw participation from over 1,300 global industry leaders, policymakers, innovators, and stakeholders, all focused on generating breakthrough insights that help navigate through the complexities of the global financial system, a statement said.
Ehsan Abbas, chairman, Middle East Global Advisors, said: “This year’s event will take place within the context of increasing global political and economic turbulence particularly the growing skepticism against the banking and finance industry attributed to the Global Financial Crisis of 2008-09. Over the years, this skepticism shaped into displeasure towards “the establishment” incumbents in the government, official and private sectors, a sentiment that was echoed in the recent Edelman Trust Barometer.”
Khalid Hamad Abdul-Rahman Hamad, executive director Banking Supervision, Central Bank of Bahrain, said: “The Central Bank of Bahrain takes great pride in supporting the 24th World Islamic Banking Conference. WIBC has a track record of presenting topical issues every year. Some of the key topics this year will be the moral question in finance, the impact of Fintech and new trends in Shariah governance. The deceleration in the growth of Islamic finance worldwide continued tightening of regulations and Fintech provide a significant opportunity to the most efficient and technology savvy players to gain market share at the expense of their less efficient conventional and Shariah-compliant competitors.
“The WIBC will witness a gathering of global subject matter experts who will help the audience understand the dynamics of an industry in transition. It will also provide an excellent networking opportunity to individuals and a platform for companies to exhibit their services,” he said.
Key features for WIBC 2017 include: Governors’ Addresses; High-profile Regulatory Debate among Central Bankers; a conversation with a distinguished Islamic finance veteran – Adnan Ahmed Yousif, chief executive and president, Al Baraka Banking Group on the future course of the Islamic economy, a CIO-focused panel session on harnessing digital technologies with the vision of staying relevant; Panel discussions focusing on dynamic capital markets, sustainable, equitable & inclusive growth, new horizons for Islamic finance, ESG Investing and the influence of energy prices, VAT, the effect of the recent global economic & political developments and much more.
Committed to its vision to innovate year-on-year, the 24th edition will focus on generating thought-leadership via an exclusive WIBC Knowledge-Sharing Series whereby a select group of industry leaders will make focused presentations/speeches that will be followed by opening the floor to questions from the audience and a select panel of experts, who will be further discussing these key topics at length. The exclusive series will touch upon a number of topical issues like Leveraging Islamic Capital Markets for innovative solutions that will focus on Aviation Financing, Alternative/Renewable Energy Financing and the WIBC Islamic Economy Series concentrate on developing a halal ecosystem, amongst others, the statement said.
Industry leaders will also be recognized for their excellence through the WIBC Performance Awards 2017.