By Diyar Guldogan and Jeyhun Aliyev
The General Council for Islamic Banks and Financial Institutions (CIBAFI) will stay relevant in the industry as the world changes, secretary-general of the financial body said on Wednesday.
"The world is in continuous change, disruptions are affecting all business sectors. The CIBAFI is always keen to remain relevant to our members, stakeholders and the industry at large," Abdelilah Belatik said in his opening remarks of the two-day CIBAFI Global Forum in Istanbul.
The CIBAFI Global Forum 2018, of which Anadolu Agency is the global communication partner, will focus on how the industry would fulfill its obligation while remaining competitive and relevant within global financial markets.
The forum’s main theme is "The New Face of Financial Services: Disruptions, Opportunities and the New Normals"; industry experts from around the world are attending the event.
Belatik said CIBAFI's mandate is to represent the Islamic financial services industry globally, defend and promote its role, and to also consolidate cooperation among its members.
"Our mission remains in supporting the Islamic financial services industry by being the leading industry voice advocating regulatory, financial and economic policies that are in the broad interest of our members and that foster the development of the Islamic financial services industry and sound industry practices," he added.
Islamic financial institutions are exposed to various regulatory and policy changes within the industry, he said, adding that policy and regulatory advocacy plays a "vital" role in safeguarding the Islamic financial industry within the global regulatory headwinds.
"It is our mission and role to voice the concerns of the industry with relevant bodies to ensure that industry needs are taken into account when policies, standards and regulations are developed," he said.
Abdulhameed M. Aboumoussa, governor Faisal Islamic Bank of Egypt, told the forum that Islamic financial services industry had "rapidly" grown in recent years.
"The size of the industry is expected to reach $4 trillion by 2020."
Aboumoussa termed Islamic finance as an "effective" tool to move the economy forward.
President of Participation Banks Association of Turkey, Melihsah Utku, said the Islamic finance industry faces "huge" challenges, which would be addressed on the sidelines of the forum.
Mehmet Ali Akben, chairman of the Turkey's Banking Regulation and Supervision Agency (BDDK), said that while globalization had made countries come closer together and gave new opportunities to societies, it also brought along risks.
He added countries need international cooperation to solve their problems.
"CIBAFI is one of the best examples of having cooperation and partnership between the countries," Akben said.