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Int'l Islamic economic conf. opens in Doha

DOHA, March 23 (KUNA) -- The 10th International Conference on Islamic Economics and Finance (ICIEF), themed "Institutional Aspects of Economic, Monetary and Financial Reforms," opened at Qatar National Convention Center on Monday.
In his inaugural speech to the two-day event, Sheikh Abdullah Saud Al-Thani, governor of Qatar Central Bank, highlighted the role of the International Islamic Liquidity Management Corporation (IILM) in promoting transparency and good-governance on the capital market.
"Within a short time span since it was established on October 25, 2010, the IILM has been issuing issue short-term Sharia-compliant financial instruments to facilitate effective cross-border Islamic liquidity management under direct supervision of the governors of the central banks of its member countries," he said.
Sheikh Abdullah expressed optimism about the future of the Sharia-compliant financial institutions and their ability to contribute to economic growth in the Islamic countries.
The number of such institutions doubled over the last few years to nearly 800 with their assets hitting USD 1.8 trillion by the end of 2013, he said, citing figures of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the World Bank.
The Gulf region accounts for a third of the total value of such assets, he said, adding that the clientele of the Islamic financial institutions hit 40 million.
On the role of the Islamic Development Bank (IDB), Sheikh Abdullah said it uses 'Sukuk' (Sharia-abiding bonds) to finance economic development in the Islamic countries.
The Sukuk represent nearly 80 percent of the total value of assets of the Islamic financial institutions worldwide while the Islamic investment funds represent four percent and the Takaful institutions one percent, he added.
The agenda topics include, inter alia; Shariah solutions for liquidity problems in Islamic banks, especially after Basel III; the need for a central Shariah board in each central bank: the pros and the cons; evaluating the role of fiqh academies for the development of the Islamic financial industry, and whether the industry is influenced by their decisions and research; and 'taqlid' and 'ijtihad' - challenges facing fatwa issuance in Islamic finance.
The conference is organized by the International Association for Islamic Economics in collaboration with Qatar Faculty of Islamic Studies - Hamad bin Khalifa University, Qatar Foundation and the Islamic Research and Training Institute of the IDB.
The conferees, representing over 50 countries, are scheduled to discuss in 37 sessions more than 725 research papers. (end) nnd.gb