The 7th Mediterranean Islamic Finance Forum Explores Pathways to Economic Growth and Sustainability in the Mediterranean Region

The General Council for Islamic Banks and Financial Institutions, the official global representative of Islamic financial institutions (IFIs), along with the Association of the Mediterranean Chambers of Commerce and Industry (ASCAME) and the Barcelona Chamber of Commerce, successfully convened the 7th Mediterranean Islamic Finance Forum (MIFF) today. Held both in Barcelona, Spain, and online, this year’s forum explored the theme “Islamic Finance in the Mediterranean Region: An Avenue for Sustainability and Economic Growth.” The event brought together influential figures from the finance industry to discuss opportunities for economic growth and sustainability in the Mediterranean region.

This successful forum followed the previous series of Mediterranean Islamic Finance Forums in Barcelona and was organised by CIBAFI as part of the MedaWeek Barcelona 2023. The event attracted decision-makers, investors, entrepreneurs, senior executives from financial institutions, business leaders, policymakers, regulators, heads of government, and ministers from across the Mediterranean, Europe, and the Middle East.

The second-day inauguration of the 17th Mediterranean Week of Economic Leaders – MedaWeek Barcelona 2023 and the 7th MIFF featured keynote speeches from industry leaders, including Dr. Abdelilah Belatik, Secretary General of CIBAFI; Mr. Abd El Hameed Abou Mosa, Governor of Faisal Islamic Bank of Egypt and CIBAFI Deputy Chairman of the Board of Directors; Mr. Anwar Zibaoui, General Coordinator, ASCAME;  Dr. Sami Al-Suwailem, Acting Director General of the Islamic Development Bank Institute (IsDBI), Saudi Arabia, and Mr. Karim Elyas Wadie Qubain, FICAC Director – Honorary Consul General of Japan in Honduras.

During the panel session, distinguished speakers engaged in thought-provoking discussions on various topics critical to the region’s development and economic sustainability. The session explored the unique challenges faced by the Mediterranean region and the role of Islamic finance in addressing these challenges. Speakers shared insights on the potential of Sukuk in financing sustainable infrastructure projects. Additionally, the panel examined the vital role of Islamic finance in trade finance and investment to encourage ethical business practices and foster economic growth. The integration of technology and capacity-building initiatives for the dissemination and growth of Islamic finance was also a significant part of the conversation.

Panelists discussing these engaging topics included Prof. Marcos Eguiguren, Associate Provost – Director of the International Centre in Sustainable Finance and Secretary of the Board of Trustees at UPF Barcelona School of Management, Spain; Dr. Mohamed Damak, Senior Director, Sector Lead Financial Institutions & Global Head of Islamic Finance, S&P Global Ratings, UAE; Mr. Mohamed Elkhazmi, Chief Representative, Al Baraka Group B.S.C., Representative Office – Libya. The session was moderated by Ms. Noha Shacker, Founder and Secretary General of the Egyptian Fintech Association.

This Forum aligns with CIBAFI’s strategic objective to promote and facilitate the growth of Islamic finance. CIBAFI continues to support the Islamic financial services industry through various activities and initiatives. These include providing industry stakeholders with a platform to discuss emerging issues and engaging in policy and regulatory advocacy initiatives. Moreover, CIBAFI represents the industry at major global financial events and shares knowledge through specialized publications and comprehensive training programmes.

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