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Tuesday, 6 November 2007

“Islamic finance must assume its rightful place in the global financial system,” Kuala Lumpur Business Club (KLBC) President

Speaking to reporters after the investment conference, "Why Invest in Malaysia" at Dubai International Financial Centre, Kuala Lumpur Business Club (KLBC) President Dato' Dr. Munir Majid, Chairman of Malaysian Airlines, said that “both Malaysia and the Middle East must join hands to create a viable, internationally applicable model for Islamic banking so that the Islamic financial industry may attain its proper station within the global fiscal system.”The Kuala Lumpur Business Club (KLBC), and prominent members of the Malaysian Islamic finance sector are in UAE this week to meet with business leaders and government agencies across Dubai and Abu Dhabi. The primary objective of this business mission is to showcase Malaysia's innovative markets and products in Islamic finance, as well as encourage investment, capital raising and cooperation with the Gulf region.Distinguished members of the Malaysian Islamic finance sector speaking at the conference included Dato' Zarinah Anwar, Chairman of the Securities Commission, and Dato' Mohd Razif Abdul Kadir; Deputy Governor of Bank Negara (the Central Bank of Malaysia),; Mr Ganen Sarvananthan Executive Director – Investments, Khazanah Nasional Berhad, and Badlisyah Abdul Ghani, Executive Director and CEO of CIMB Islamic Bank Berhad.Commenting on the need for widespread acceptance of Islamic finance globally, Dato' Dr. Munir said that this would be possible only if key hubs in the Middle East and Malaysia worked together to create an internationally acceptable policy on Islamic financial products, including buying and selling on each others’ markets. “There are a number of synergies that make Malaysia an ideal partner to the UAE and other forward looking Middle Eastern states – we are progressive Islamic societies with strong economic ambitions. Alliances in Islamic banking as well as in other developing sectors can be of immense benefit to all of us.”Underlining Malaysia’s emergence as a gateway for investments into Southeast Asia, Dato’ Badlisyah Abdul Ghani, CEO of CIMB Islamic Bank said: “Malaysia has proven itself as a stable and reliable conduit for investments, both from international investors seeking investment opportunities in the Asean region, as well as for Asian investors looking to invest abroad. An internationally acceptable code for Islamic banking can significantly boost business alliances between the Middle East and Southeast Asia.”During the visit, the delegation will also meet with various UAE business and finance sector leaders to exchange ideas and review prospects and incentives of doing business in Malaysia.This is just the second time the Club has organized a business mission outside the South East Asian region, having just recently visited New York earlier this year. The visit to Dubai clearly demonstrates the high importance Malaysia attaches to the UAE as a key potential partner, especially in Islamic finance. The 4-year old KLBC has also previously embarked on foreign business missions to its South East Asian neighbours, Singapore and Jakarta. Each trip had achieved good results in terms of relationship consolidation and networking and the Club hopes for the same here. - (AB, 4 Nov 07)

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