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Islamic Finance Leaders from the GCC, Asia, Africa, Europe and Americas to gather at the 21st Annual World Islamic Banking Conference to discuss Moving Islamic Finance Islamic Towards the New Paradigm Shift in Global Financial Markets

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The 21st Annual World Islamic Banking Conference (WIBC 2014) to open on the 1st of December with a pre-conference seminar hosted by the International Islamic Financial Market (IIFM)

WIBC 2014 confirms a powerful line-up of speakers including H.E. Rasheed Mohammed Al Maraj, Governor, Central Bank of Bahrain; Baroness Sayeeda Warsi of the UK House of Lords;  Nurlan Kussainov, Deputy Governor, National Bank of Kazakhstan; Professor Datuk Rifaat Ahmed Abdel Karim, Chief Executive Officer of the International Islamic Liquidity Management Corporation; Jaseem Ahmed, Secretary-General, Islamic Financial Services Board (IFSB); and H.E. Dr. Halim Alamsyah, Deputy Governor, Bank Indonesia.

Bahrain: 24 November 2014: Industry titans, pioneers and global leaders in the international Islamic banking and finance industry will take part in the 21st Annual World Islamic Banking Conference (WIBC 2014), which is set to commence on the 1st of December 2014 at the Gulf Hotel in the Kingdom of Bahrain. Held under the theme “Islamic Finance: Towards the New Paradigm Shift in Global Financial Markets”, the three day event is convened under the patronage of HRH Prince Khalifa Bin Salman Al Khalifa, the Prime Minister of the Kingdom of Bahrain and is supported by the Central Bank of Bahrain.

The main WIBC 2014 conference, which begins on Tuesday the 2nd of December 2014, will be inaugurated by H.E. Rasheed Mohammed Al Maraj, Governor of the Central Bank of Bahrain. The inaugural address will be immediately followed by special keynote addresses from Baroness Sayeeda Warsi, House of Lords, who has been a key driving force in the progress made by the UK in Islamic finance; Nurlan Kussainov, Deputy Governor, National Bank of Kazakhstan; and Jaseem Ahmed, Secretary-General, Islamic Financial Services Board (IFSB).

Another significant highlight of WIBC 2014 will be the interactive face-to-face dialogue with Professor Datuk Rifaat Ahmed Abdel Karim, Chief Executive Officer, International Islamic Liquidity Management Corporation (IILM); one of the genuine pioneers in the industry who will share his perspectives of Islamic finance past, present and future during an onstage conversation.

WIBC 2014 will also include a high profile Industry Leaders’ Power Debate featuring internationally respected CEOs and decision-makers from the key players in the industry. Led by Ashar Nazim, Partner, Head of Global Islamic Banking Centre, EY, and featuring Basel Al-Haj-Issa, Chief Executive Officer, Ibdar Bank; Badlisyah Abdul Ghani, Chief Executive Officer, CIMB Islamic Bank; Hisham Alrayes, Chief Executive Officer, Gulf Finance House; Afaq Khan, Chief Executive Officer, Standard Chartered Saadiq; and Toby O’Connor, Chief Executive Officer of the Islamic Bank of Asia, the power debate session will analyse what changes the Islamic finance industry must undergo in order to adapt to a new global paradigm.

Commenting on the Bahrain Economic Development Board’s participation in the forthcoming WIBC 2014, H.E. Kamal bin Ahmed, Minister of Transportation and Acting Chief Executive of the Bahrain Economic Development Board, said that “Islamic finance is set to play a much more prominent role in the wider economies of both the traditional OIC markets as well as new countries who are exploring the potential of Islamic finance in their markets, such as being witnessed recently in markets from Hong Kong to the UK. The Kingdom of Bahrain, home to many of the world’s leading Islamic financial institutions, continues to support the further development of the Islamic finance industry on a global scale. The Bahrain Economic Development Board has been a strong supporter of the World Islamic Banking Conference (WIBC) for many years and looks forward to engaging leading industry players at the 21st annual edition of WIBC this December in Bahrain to tackle key areas of the Islamic finance sector to help enable the industry to successfully meet the needs of an ever-growing base of investors, customers and end-users.”

WIBC 2014 will be a truly international gathering with the ‘The World Comes to WIBC Initiative’ convening official delegations representing exciting jurisdictions for Islamic finance including Luxembourg, the United Kingdom, Bahrain and Azerbaijan. The UK Country Interface will be inaugurated by HMA Iain Lindsay OBE, British Ambassador to Bahrain.

Speaking ahead of the event, David McLean, Chief Executive of the World Islamic Banking Conference (WIBC) said that “for more than two decades now the World Islamic Banking Conference has remained the world’s largest and most influential annual gathering of international leaders in the global Islamic finance industry. WIBC 2014 will focus on Moving Islamic Finance Towards the New Paradigm Shift in Global Financial Markets and will tackle key areas in the Islamic finance sector, including regulatory, strategic, Shari’ah, operational and risk transformation to ensure that the industry is able to build critical mass, and further expand its geographic reach and depth.”

McLean also said that “the 21st Annual WIBC is set to affirm its position as the truly global gathering of Islamic finance leaders by hosting more than 1,300 attendees from over 50 countries who will be joined by over 90 high-profile speakers and 65 market-leading partners and sponsors for a platform that will enable industry leaders to revisit and re-mould the critical success factors that will enable the industry to achieve the next set of milestones.”

WIBC 2014 will begin on Monday the 1st of December 2014 with a pre-conference seminar hosted by the International Islamic Financial Market (IIFM). The pragmatically focused pre-conference executive briefing session, will be inaugurated by H.E. Dr. Halim Alamsyah, Deputy Governor, Bank Indonesia and will place a range of complex themes in a practical framework, enabling a deeper understanding of the critical issues facing the Islamic finance industry.

The eagerly anticipated World Islamic Banking Competitiveness Report, an original research project led by EY’s award winning Global Islamic Banking Center, will be launched on-site at a specially convened session; while the 21st Annual WIBC will also feature one of the industry’s longest-standing awards ceremony, which will recognize excellence, innovation and pioneering initiatives in the global Islamic banking and finance industry.

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