DDCAP sponsored and attended the 25th World Islamic Banking Conference, which took place in Bahrain on the 26th-28th November. The forum was well attended and covered a series of discussions on ‘Islamic Finance & Sustainable Economic Growth in the Age of Disruption’. Participants from DDCAP included Cassim Docrat, Charlie Sleightholme, Sylvester Da Silva and Callum Burgess, who took the opportunity to meet many of DDCAP’s clients in Bahrain and the wider region. Cassim was also a panelist, on the session titled ‘Region focused round Table: Africa’.
In his keynote address, Dr Sami Al-Suwailem, Head of Financial Product Development Centre, Islamic Research & Training Institute, Islamic Development Bank, stated that the size of e-commerce is three times the size of the Islamic financial industry and there is accordingly ample room for the industry to invest and participate in the digital revolution. Furthermore, e-commerce is a good channel to manage the liquidity of Islamic banks.
The conference also played host to an exclusive interview with H.E. Khalid Al Rumaihi, Chief Executive, Bahrain Economic Development Board, which focused on emerging projects and financing, and the benefits and risks of digitization. He also discussed the value added tax which is scheduled to be implemented in the Kingdom of Bahrain early in 2019.
Key insights on the final day included an exclusive interview with H.E. Shaikh Mohamed bin Khalifa bin Ahmed Al-Khalifa, Minister of Oil, Kingdom of Bahrain, who discussed investment plans in light of Bahrain’s recent large-scale discovery of shale oil and gas reserves, the global oil market ahead of December’s OPEC meeting and the new initiative and projects that are being undertaken by the Kingdom.