12 Dec, 2021
The Islamic Development Bank Institute (IsDBI), in collaboration with the Brunei Institute of Leadership and Islamic Finance (BILIF), organized a virtual training workshop for professionals of SMEs financial organizations and microfinance institutions in the country.
Held from 6 to 8 December 2021, the workshop discussed a comprehensive framework for the provision of access to finance to SMEs based on Islamic finance principles. In this framework, financial technologies are the key conduit through which government policies and national financial structures affect credit availability.
The workshop drew from IsDB best practices and economic empowerment success stories to discuss key techniques and success factors needed to make SME banking profitable.
Seventeen participants attended the workshop from different financial institutions in Brunei, including, Brunei Darussalam Central Bank (BDCB), Bank Islam Brunei Darussalam, RHB Brunei Bank, JMK Brunei, Academics professors, and other financial institutions.
The workshop covered several topics including the role of micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) sector for economic development, strategy and business models for MSME sector development, the role of Islamic principles to formulate public policy for the SME sector development, and how digital uptake (Fintech and AI) in MSME can fuel their future growth and resilience.
The training sessions were delivered by IsDB experts in the field of SMEs and economic empowerment. They included Dr. Dawood Ashraf, Senior Research Economist at IsDBI; Dr. Anis Ben Khedher; Senior Information Solutions Specialist at IsDBI; Dr. Rami Abdelkafi, Team Leader of IsDBI Knowledge Leaders Team; Mr. Mohamed Mazen Dakhli of IsDB Economic Empowerment Department, and Mr. Syed Hassan Alsagoff, Lead Economic Empowerment Programs Specialist at IsDB.
In her opening speech, Dayang Hajah Sufinah binti Haji Sahat, Acting Chief Executive Officer of BILIF, expressed appreciation to IsDBI for the cooperation to conduct the workshop. She added that it was essential that the officials received training on the role of MSMEs in economic development and impediments to access to financial services, especially with Brunei’s vision to be an Islamic finance hub in the region.
In his concluding remarks, Dr. Rami Abdelkafi emphasized the importance of cooperation with BILIF as valuable partner of IsDBI in Brunei. He stated that the executive training workshop is a unique and bespoke program for the Brunei officials.