An agreement to facilitate international cooperation between the two organisations in providing relevant activities relating to training and education in Islamic economics and finance was signed on 15 May 2012 between the SESRIC and the Islamic Financial Services Board (IFSB).
SESRIC Director-General, Dr. Savas Alpay, and Secretary-General of the IFSB, Mr. Jaseem Ahmed, signed the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) prior to the 9th IFSB Summit, which was held on 16-17 May 2012 in Istanbul, Turkey. Also present at the meeting were Mr. Abdullah Haron and Mr. Abdelilah Belatik, Assistant Secretaries-General of the IFSB; Mr. Nabil Mohammed Dabour, SESRIC Director for Economic and Social Research; and Mr. Nadi Serhan Aydin, SESRIC Researcher.
The collaboration, which aims to develop framework for cooperation to enhance knowledge and expertise in Islamic finance, has three main objectives: to promote capacity building for regulators, market players, and other stakeholders of Islamic financial services industry; to enhance stakeholders’ awareness on key issues with regards to specificities of Islamic finance, particularly in the effort to maintain stability and resilience of the industry, and; to expand research areas on Islamic finance in order to bridge theories into practice, specifically in the area of regulations, supervisions and market development of the Islamic financial services industry.
In the operationalization of the MoU, the IFSB and SESRIC will be participating together in relevant activities related to training and education; undertaking the development of joint research and publications; and building awareness among the industry players through joint conferences, seminars, workshops, roundtables and trainings.
Dr. Savas Alpay said: "The development of the industry's skills base will play a decisive role in the future success of the Islamic finance. Particularly at a time when the ability of the existing global financial architecture to preserve economic stability and contribute to development has come under question, Islamic economics and the Islamic finance should be promoted as a growth and stability friendly alternative to the existing system. In this connection, setting up a cooperation framework between SESRIC and the IFSB is a timely initiative and will enable our institutions to leverage on their mutual strengths in enhancing the awareness about Islamic economics and finance through high-quality research and capacity building activities."
Mr. Jaseem Ahmed said: "We are all aware of the capacity and capability constraints in Islamic finance globally. I am optimistic that this cooperation will help to address this constraint and contribute to greater human capital development in the Islamic financial services industry. The IFSB–SESRIC cooperation will increase the quantity and quality of capacity building provided for industry stakeholders and assist to resolve legal and prudential issues necessary to the industry's continued growth and resilience. The cooperation will also allow the IFSB to enhance its outreach to the OIC countries which are not members of the IFSB, especially in creating awareness and understanding on the IFSB Standards."