Islamic banking and finance industry must be robust and resilient and should continuously reposition itself, if it desires the respect an recognition from the rest of the world, said Deputy Finance Minister 1 Datuk Wira Othman Aziz.
“It should continuously strive to be the best banking system in order to attract the public, Muslims and non-Muslins alike,” he added.
Othman was delivering a special address at the Kuala Lumpur Islamic Finance Forum (KLIFF) Dinner and Islamic Awards Presentation 2017 on Tuesday.
He noted that Malaysia is now positioned at the forefront of international developments with increasing connectivity between financial cenres, and more cross-border Islamic financial transactions.
“Our sukuk market constitutes more than 50% of global sukuk outstanding for the past 16 years,” he said.
Malaysia as an international Islamic finance marketplace offers an attractive and facilitative platform for foreign issuers to tap Malaysia’s domestic sukuk market. There have been various issuances of multicurrency sukuk in US Dollar, Singapore dollar, Chinese Renminbi and Japanese Yen. There are also stronger bilateral ties with various countries such as the United Kingdom, Hong Kong, Turkey, Indonesia and Japan.
“These interlinkages open up greater opportunities to introduce and strategically position Islamic finance services globally while providing opportunities for meaningful participation of our local players as lead arrangers for some of the global sukuk issuances. The gains are also extended to our ancillary service providers that were able to establish greater connections with the international market.”
Othman believes that the recently issuance of the Value-Based Intermediation (VBI) strategy Paper by Bank Negara Malaysia marks the next step to realising the full potential of Islamic finance – a holistic approach for industry players to deliver the intended outcomes of Shariah that generate positive and sustainable impact to the economy, community and environment.