Bank Negara Malaysia, in support of the Malaysia International Islamic Financial Centre (MIFC) initiative, organized a Seminar on Islamic Finance on 28-29 September 2011 in Istanbul, Turkey. The Seminar was well attended by over 180 delegates, comprising senior business and financial leaders from Turkey and Malaysia. Interests were also shown from financial and business delegates from the Asian, European and Middle East regions. The Centre was represented by Mr. Nadi Serhan Aydın, Researcher at the Centre.
The Seminar was held under the theme "Malaysia and Turkey: The New Silk Route in Islamic Finance - Strategies for Collaboration, Cooperation and Smart Partnerships" and aimed to provide a platform for the Malaysian and Turkish financial and business community to share and exchange knowledge and industry views on the current development of the Islamic financial market. The two-day business seminar featured business briefings, which encompassed countries showcase highlighting business and investment opportunities in Turkey and Malaysia to encourage greater business flows; and concurrent sessions on Islamic liquidity management and halal economy.
In his opening remarks, Mr. Muhammad bin Ibrahim, Deputy Governor of Bank Negara Malaysia, stated that a productive partnership could be created between Turkey and Malaysia when both parties are able to harness the strengths of each other. Mr. Ibrahim highlighted five key areas of possible cooperation that could increase cross-border activities between the two countries, notably, sukuk issuance, promotion of cross-border activities, Islamic fund management, partnership in innovation and in education and research.
During the Seminar, His Excellency Tun Dr. Mahathir Mohamad, Former Prime Minister of Malaysia, delivered a special lecture on the future of Islamic finance industry. In his address, H.E. Mohamad explained how the world economy had been dragged down to the global financial crisis. He stated that the loose monetary policies coupled with the resultant greed for risk-taking evolved into excessive speculative investments for reaping attractive capital gains. “Greed knew no bounds” His Excellency said. H.E. Mohamad argued that the growth of Islamic finance would be low in years to come but, if properly harnessed, it could create real wealth and spin-offs into the real economy, creating jobs and increasing trade both domestically and internationally.
Following the special address, two panel sessions were held with the participation of local and international industry players, highlighting current issues and development of the Islamic financial industry.