24 August 2019 (Saturday) at 10am at the Unima Grand Hotel Training Hall

Thank you for inviting me to be here to inaugurate this valuable workshop on Islamic Finance Qualification which is a UK based very highly recognized certificate. Let me at the outset congratulate the students who have enrolled for this program. You are going to benefit for your rest of your life due to this workshop irrespective of whatever the field or career path that you may choose to become.

There are two reasons for me to say that.

You have chosen to learn Islamic Finance which is one of the fastest growing financial segments in the world over the last so many years. The global Islamic finance industry’s YoY growth was 11% (valued at US$ 2.4 Trillion) in 2017. It was just 300 Billion in 2003. Noe It has been projected to grow up to US$ 3.8 Trillion by 2023 as stated in The Islamic Finance Development Report 2018 published by Thomson Reuters. While many countries have been introducing fully fledged Islamic Finance services, the conventional Companies too are offering through Window operations. You may see the similar patterns in Maldives as well. We being an 100% Muslims country, we have a greater potential for the Islamic Finance segment.

The other reason is that this program in Maldives is offered by Maldives Capacity Development and Governance Institute (MCDGI) and I know their commitment for the highest quality of training programs. They have proven it over the past at several times. MCDGI is in operation since 2017, If I am right. They are driven by the mission to develop champions of Islamic Finance, good governance and highly skilled, sustainability aware business leaders. I know the people behind this institute for a long time and their level of commitment to guide and develop the youngsters in the right directions.

Islamic Finance has emerged as an alternative banking and financial system worldwide since the modern experiment in 1960s. However, please note that the principles of Islamic Finance whether it is banking, capital market products or even Takaful, all were practiced at its raw form of economic transactions 14 centuries ago, underpinned by deep ethical concepts which is righteousness based on the religion of Islam.
Islamic Finance is equity-based, asset-backed i.e real transaction based, ethical, sustainable, environmentally and socially responsible system. It promotes risk sharing, connects the financial sector with the real economy and emphasizes financial inclusion and social welfare. It also ensues the key human values such as integrity, honesty and just in all of its transactions.
I am sure you have the passion to learn Islamic Finance and that is why you are here. Any thing should be learned not just to earn money, especially you should learn Islamic finance with the passion to understand the deep-rooted concepts. Otherwise, even after completing the workshop and obtaining the certificates you may not be able to explain the difference between Islamic and Conventional Finance. As you may see many views that we are calling it profit and they are calling it as interest. And all the products have been just name changed.

I do not want to take the lecture in Islamic Finance, there is a well qualified and distinguished resource person from Sri Lanka Mr. Muath Mubarak for that.

Thank you once again for inviting me today and let me sincerely wish you a joyful and enlightening workshop.