World Islamic Economic Forum (WIEF) Foundation Chairman Tun Musa Hitam said this was evident from the interest shown by the British, who are eager to know more about Islamic banking and finance, at the upcoming ninth edition of the WIEF in London.
For the first time ever, the WIEF will be held in a non-Muslim country from Oct 29-31.
“The excitement among the British over Islamic banking and finance is because they are in the process of wanting to improve the facilities they already have,” he told a media briefing here today.
Musa said London also wants to upgrade its standard of services as the international business capitals of the world are in competition with each other.
The financial centres include Bangkok, Singapore, Hong Kong and Zurich, which are very interested in taking on Islamic finance.
“This certainly reflects the success of Islamic banking and finance of which Malaysia is the pioneer,” he added.
London has the largest Islamic banking sector outside the Middle East and Asia, boosting 22 Shariah compliant banks or banks with Islamic windows.
Musa said with the need to further explore all aspects and the potential of this industry, Islamic banking and finance is expected to form a major part of the discussions at the WIEF.
Other topics to be discussed at the forum include the harnessing of the potential of women as critical growth drivers, how smart cities and design can improve the quality of life and boost economic productivity, as well as challenges for harmonizing Islamic and Western banking.
The three-day forum will see the gathering of 16 country leaders, including Malaysian Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak.
It will also witness the presence of the governors of several central banks including Malaysia’s Tan Sri Dr Zeti Akhtar Aziz, alongside 1,800 participants comprising industry experts, academicians, business leaders, policy makers and investors from more than 120 countries.