Islamic Finance Conference Hopes to Propel Industry to New Heights in U.S.
10/7/2013 1:52:32 PM
Is the United States an undiscovered market for Islamic Finance? That’s the question a conference organized by the Malaysia-US Chamber of Commerce hopes to answer in Washington, DC on November 4th. The event, whose program includes sessions exploring everything from how to source Islamic capital in the United States to the relationship between socially responsible investing and Islam, is intended to serve as a meeting place to help interested parties come together and advance the cause of Islamic finance in the U.S.
“It’s really about creating opportunities for everyone,” says Roy Michael, event organizer with the Malaysia-US Chamber of Commerce. “The Chamber recognizes the potential value of developing Islamic capital and credit markets in the United States. Our goal is to play a constructive role and to facilitate growth.”
According to Michael, the conference seeks to create an avenue for engagement with key financial players as well as promote innovative financial instruments—for example, Sukuk—in the United States.
Opening the US market
The Malaysia-US Chamber of Commerce hopes to make the event a “meeting of the minds,” bringing leaders from Malaysia, which has a highly developed Islamic economy, to interact with political and business leaders in the United States, which still lags East Asia, GCC nations, and much of Europe in terms of deepening its relationship with Islamic finance. Globally, Islamic finance is $2 trillion industry, including asset management and infrastructure projects. There are roughly 600 financial institutions operating in more than 75 jurisdictions globally.
Beyond dialogue and building business partnerships, the Chamber hopes to use the event as a springboard for the creation of a permanent advocacy wing dedicated to the promotion of Islamic finance in the United States. “The conference isn’t just about getting together once in a while to touch base,” say Michael. “It’s about starting down the long road of building real and lasting growth in the United States.”
“Islamic Finance: An Undiscovered Market in the United States” will be held from 8:00 am to 6:00 pm on November 4, 2013 at the Ronald Reagan Building and International Trade Center in Washington, DC. Azzad will be speaking at the panel on SRI Investing and Islam.
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