Pakistan is to host the World Islamic Finance Forum (WIFF) 2018. Whenever the word Islamic Finance is echoed in the financial markets, few countries come in one imagination. These countries include: Malaysia, Saudi Arabia and United Arab Emirates (UAE). But, none realized the hidden potential of Pakistan becoming the hub of Islamic Finance.
Islamic Finance is rapidly progressing not only in the Muslim countries but also many western countries are looking towards it as a potential new market to dive in. Pakistan has the tendency to emerged as an Islamic Finance Hub by 2025, as said by Rizwan Hussain, Takaful Pakistan Chief Executive.
Pakistan has a huge potential to become a hub of Islamic Finance, said by Dr. Ishrat Hussain, Chairman of the Centre for excellence in Islamic Finance. Considering its deeply embedded culture of Islamic values and the general tilt of the masses towards the sharia compliant procedures. Both these things present Pakistan as huge market for the Islamic Finance products not only for the domestic banking industry but also for the international banks as well.
As per the survey, almost 76% people said that they prefer Islamic finance and 13-14% opted for conventional banking. This survey results shows that if Islamic finance is properly established in the financial markets, it can cater the huge market. As of now, Islamic finance is prevalent only in Muslim countries. They are using only 1% of the total assets present in the Muslim countries. But, the figures are gradually progressing.
Pakistan lacks awareness of Islamic banking and severe shortage of human resource in this field, said by the Meezan Bank President, Irfan Siddiqui. In this realm, a forum for Islamic Finance has been organized in collaboration with the leading universities and INCEIF, a setup by the Central Bank of Malaysia. People from different countries are invited to contribute their ideas regarding Islamic Finance.
This forum will bring together different researchers, academicians and practitioners. So that they generate new ideas which foster the Islamic Finance. Further, helps the banks and financial institutions dealing in Islamic finance to cope up with the contemporary challenges.
Experts from Global Islamic Finance are invited, eminent speakers from USA, UK, CHINA, BOSNIA and other countries are also invited to participate and share their experience to further strengthen the base of the Islamic Finance. This forum will prove beneficial in multiple ways. In terms of research papers contribution and case studies methods, which helps in sorting out the challenges to the Islamic Finance.
In a nutshell, Pakistan can prove to be a potential opportunity and a hub of Islamic finance. Taking into account all the factors regarding market concentration, cultural values and consumer choice towards sharia compliant products. All these helps Pakistan In becoming the hub of the Islamic Finance in near future.