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Wednesday, 7 November 2007

Malaysia Committed To Be World's Major Islamic Financial Centre, Halal Hub

KUALA LUMPUR, Nov 7 (Bernama) -- Malaysia will continue to take measures to become the world's premier Islamic financial centre and halal hub, said Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi.He said in line with the Malaysian International Islamic Finance Centre (MIFC) initiative, Malaysia had liberalised the Islamic finance sector to encourage the participation of foreign institutions in banking, capital markets and takaful (Islamic insurance)."The country's success in developing the Islamic financial system, which has gained international recognition, and efforts to establish a halal industry are no less important in fulfilling our `fardu kifayah' (communal obligation)," said Abdullah in his policy speech at the Umno General Assembly at the Putra World Trade Centre here Wednesday.He said in the Islamic capital markets, Malaysia accounted for two-thirds of the world's Islamic bonds, amounting to US$47 billion."In addition, we have taken a leadership role in establishing institutions such as the Islamic Financial Services Board (IFSB) and the International Centre for Education in Islamic Finance (INCEIF)."The IFSB, which has a membership of 125 countries, works to coordinate regulations and standards internationally, while INCEIF is a university-level institution that develops human capital to meet the needs of the Islamic finance sector.Abdullah said Malaysia was also committed to becoming a world-class halal hub by actively promoting the products and services of Halal Malaysia, strengthening its Halal certification and establishing the Halal Industry Development Corporation to spearhead and coordinate the various initiatives."With the size of the global halal market at RM2 trillion and more than 1.8 billion Muslims in the world, Malaysians, especially the Muslims, should not miss the opportunity of venturing into this sector, he added.

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