Global Forum Discusses Leveraging Disruptive Technologies for Inclusive Development

14 May, 2023

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The Islamic Development Bank Institute (IsDBI) held its 17th Global Forum on Islamic Finance where senior technology and innovation experts discussed the prospects of disruptive technologies and Islamic finance to foster inclusive development.

The forum was held with the theme ‘Disruptive Solutions for a Resilient Economy’ on 12 May 2023 in conjunction with the 2023 IsDB Group Annual Meetings in Jeddah, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.

In his keynote speech, the IsDB Group Chairman, H.E. Dr. Muhammad Al Jasser, noted that the world is facing a myriad of dynamic challenges that added pressure on policymakers to explore innovative means to address these challenges.

“We must embrace this ‘disruption’ and integrate it with our business processes to create effective solutions for our member countries. Combining modern technology’s efficiencies with the sustainable and ethical principles of Islamic economics can result in championing product solutions that can help tackle various global economic challenges,” Dr. Al Jasser said.

However, he cautioned that any disruptive development needs to be backed by proper oversight, governance, and monitoring mechanisms that anticipate potential instability issues.

“In this regard, I would like to emphasize the role of the IsDB Institute in searching for innovative solutions that can help us address the challenges facing our member countries and Muslim communities worldwide,” he added.

During the forum, Dr. Al Jasser and President Emeritus of IsDB, H.E. Dr. Ahmad Mohammad Ali, launched the book titled “The Islamic Development Bank and Dr. Ahmad Mohammad Ali: History of an Institution and Journey of a President’’. The book documents the historical evolution and remarkable success of the IsDB from its establishment in 1975 till the retirement of Dr. Ahmad Ali in 2016.

Dr. Al Jasser praised Dr. Ali for being the legendary champion of development and for leading the IsDB to be a world-class multinational development bank. In a speech, Dr. Ahmad Ali said the remarkable success of the IsDB Group is attributable to the confidence of the member countries and the faith of employees in its mission.

In his remarks, Acting Director General of IsDB Institute, Dr. Sami Al-Suwailem, thanked Dr. Al Jasser and Dr. Ali for attending the forum, and appreciated the inspiring lessons they both embody for the institution and the wider society.

Earlier, Dr. Al-Suwailem and Secretary General of the Islamic Financial Services Board (IFSB), Dr. Bello Danbatta, launched a report entitled ‘Islamic Financial Services Industry Development Ten-Year Framework and Strategies: A Final Review’. The report is a joint initiative of the IsDBI and IFSB.

The forum had two panel sessions in which senior financial technology and innovation leaders discussed the prospects of technological disruptions in fostering resilient economies.

In the first panel, the experts focused on how current and future applications of digital vouchers could help create a more financially inclusive society. Speakers in the panel were Dr. Mohamad Hammour, Chairman and MD of Guidance Financial Group, and Member of IsDBI’s Board of Trustees; Mr. Rami Alkarmi, Executive Chairman, Ab(new)normal Ventures, and Member of IsDBI’s Board of Trustees; and Dr. Pater D. Holden, Chief Corporate Development Officer, Beyond Limits Inc.

The second panel discussed the structure of the Sukuk Enhancement Fund (SEF) as a product that aims to support the Islamic finance ecosystems in IsDB member countries. Speakers in this session were Dr. Suminto Sastrosuwito, Director General of Budget Financing and Risk Management, Ministry of Finance, Indonesia; Mr. Ijlal Ahmed Alvi, CEO, International Islamic Financial Market (IIFM); and Ms. Sabeen Saleem, CEO, of Islamic International Rating Agency (IIRA).

The forum was co-organized with three knowledge partners: King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST), Effat University, and University of Business and Technology (UBT), Jeddah, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.

A recording of the session is available on YouTube here.


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