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Finance & Banking | Global Arab Network
We've lost with the Icelandic banks, now lets try the Islamic banks
Global Arab Network - - Maha Karim
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GK Partners is pleased to announce the first conference as part of its Access to Islamic Finance (A2IF) programme, which focuses on extending and enhancing the size and accessibility of Islamic finance in the United Kingdom.

The first conference of the series, which takes place at the British Library on Monday 13 July 2009, focuses on how Islamic finance investment in British businesses can be improved and will feature presentations from industry experts and chief executives of major public and private sector bodies.

“In the past year, the world has witnessed cataclysmic turmoil in global finance, with severe impacts on the fortunes of countries, companies, charities and individuals. The reckless financial speculation and excessive risk-taking that led to the unsustainable accumulation of phenomenal volumes of toxic assets are against the basic principles and practices of Islamic finance. The unfortunate reality of the credit crunch, sub-prime mortgages and economic recession, has created renewed interest in ethical and socially responsible financial practices.” says Gibril Faal, Director of GK Partners and Convenor of the conference.

The conference has received a ringing endorsement from the government. Speaking on 6 July 2009, Rt. Hon. Lord Mandelson, First Secretary of State, Lord President of the Council
Secretary of State for Business, Innovation & Skills said “I welcome this conference. In particular, the aim of increasing and optimising access to Islamic financial products through the strengthening of partnerships between the financial, business and enterprise (including social enterprise) and voluntary & charitable sectors. It will be useful in furthering understanding of the contribution Islamic finance can make to our economic and social communities at all levels.”

To attain the untapped financial and socio-economic benefits of Islamic finance, a new proactive approach is required. Apart from further facilitative regulatory reform, there is a need for focused promotion and awareness-raising amongst the diverse potential clients, especially from non-Muslim communities and unengaged corporate, SME and social economy sectors.

“Islamic finance is available to Muslims and non-Muslims.The ‘Access to Islamic Finance’ conference will help advisers, practitioners and policymakers understand the technicalities, accessibility and benefits of Islamic finance.” says Faal.

The Access to Islamic Finance (A2IF) programme is a comprehensive and inclusive approach,
based on new forms of synergistic cross-sectoral partnerships. The practical business benefits and ethical virtues of Islamic finance are relevant and consistent with the values and financing needs of commercial and social enterprises from a wide range of sectors.

Through the A2IF programme, we seek to increase and optimise actual access to Islamic financial products and services by creating and strengthening purposeful partnerships with, amongst others: corporate and SME clients and their trade associations; public sector asset developers and managers; ethical and social enterprise clients and their trade associations; regeneration and community investment companies and agencies; charity investment and trust fund managers; financial policy and regulatory bodies; social integration and community cohesion agencies.

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