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Malaysia needs to extend Islamic finance leadership

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Points of Essence:

  • In view of the stiff competition and growing interest in Islamic finance worldwide, Malaysia needs to reassess its talent scouting and retaining policy. Otherwise, it will lose out to other competitive markets. Bernama has the report.

Kuala Lumpur: Malaysia needs to rethink existing paradigm to solidify its leadership in the Islamic finance industry as more countries are jumping into the bandwagon.

“The race is on (in the Islamic finance sector). There is stiff competition from other financial centres,” Bank Negara Malaysia’s assistant governor Datuk Muhammad Ibrahim said Monday.

Last November, French Finance Minister Christine Lagarde announced France’s intention to make Paris “the capital of Islamic finance”.

The French Senate also announced that it was looking at ways to eliminate legal hurdles, particularly levies, for Islamic financial services and products in France and the potential for listing companies on the Paris Stock Exchange.

The United Kingdom is in a consultation process to issue sovereign sukuk, he said.

Nearer to home, Muhammad said Singapore has launched the Islamic Electronic Trading Fund, Hong Kong aimed to be an Islamic financial hub and Japan has approved a new law allowing banks to offer Islamic finance.

In order to remain the leading Islamic finance centre, he said that Malaysia, among other things, should globalise its education system as quality of education will determine the country’s competitive edge.

“(We should also) attract high profile and talented academicians and researchers, promote the culture of research and thirst for knowledge, and continuously benchmark our education system,” he said.

Malaysia, he added, should also create a framework to attract the best and brightest talent to the country.

Muhammad also said that there should also be no gaps between policies and implementation.

“Strong vision should be supported by pragmatic execution of policies by implementation agencies and the ability to make structural policy changes in a timely manner,” he said.

Such efforts are possible as Malaysia already has the first-mover advantage, Muhammad said.

“Malaysia is by far the largest centre for sukuk issuance in the world. The total annual Islamic money market transaction exceeds RM1 trillion and the industry has contributed to overall economic growth,” he said. –

Source: Bernama


Written by Suapi Shaffaii

January 13, 2009 at 4:34 pm

Posted in General Issue

Tagged with ,

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