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Friday, 7 September 2007

IDB development finance hits $46b

The IDB Group's financing for socio-economic development in cumulative terms reached $46 billion by last year end, Vice-President of the Islamic Development Bank (IDB) Dr Amadou Boubacar Cisse said at the opening session of a two-day regional conference on Islamic Finance yesterday.Referring to UN-sponsored International Conference on Financing for Development, he said that the six areas known as Monetary Consensus would continue to be a main challenge for the global community.The areas are - mobilising domestic financial resources; moblising international resources, including foreign direct investments and other private flows such as remittances; forging trade as an engine for development; increasing international financial and technical cooperation for development; reducing the burden of unsustainable external debt and addressing international-level systematic issues such as coherence, consistency and harmonisation.He said: "The progress in six areas of the 'financing for development' has been rapid and less so in others. An important yet subtle movement has taken place the idea of 'financing for development' has come to be associated with the objective of assisting the developing countries to achieve the eight millennium development goals (MGDs)."He said about six years back, the IDB embarked on a resource mobilisation drive by issuing sukuk bonds, in which the financial institutions based in Bahrain played a major supportive role. "IDB mobilised through issuance of sukuk bonds about $1 billion which were invested in economic infrastructure projects particularly in the ESCWA region. In addition, IDB Infrastructure Fund, a public-private partnership vehicle totalling about $774 million is administered from Bahrain. "The IDB Group is guided by the OIC 10-year programme of action, which emanated from the third OIC extra ordinary summit in December 2005 and the IDB vision targets comprehensive human development. This year within the IDB Group, two new entities have been established - the International Islamic Trade Finance Corporation (ITFC), which will also focus on trade promotion especially in the least developed OIC countries and the Islamic Solidarity Fund for Development (ISFD) which will support poverty alleviation and human development programmes for the poorest segment of the Ummah."The Government of Central Bank of Bahrain has strived hard in achieving and maintaining the status being an Islamic financial centre in the region. He lauded the role being played by the Kingdom of Bahrain in serving the global Islamic banking community by hosting the Accounting and Auditing Organisation for Islamic Financial Institutions (AAOFI), International Islamic Financial Market (IIFM), the General Council of Islamic Banks and Financial Institutions (GCIBFI) and the Liquidity Management Centre (LMC). - (MFN, 6 Sep 07)

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