The theme of this conference is Islamic Finance. It is well documented that there is an unprecedented interest in Islamic finance worldwide today following the recent financial crisis that has severely affected every corner of globe.
It is also worth noting that this great interest in Islamic finance is not confined to Muslim countries alone, but many non-Muslim countries such as Britain, India, Russia, Singapore and the United States of America are among the places where Islamic finance is gaining momentum.
According to the latest statistics, the volume of assets managed by Islamic financial institutions has dramatically increased in the last few years. For instance, Islamic finance assets has increased from USD $1.3 trillion in 2011 to USD $1.8 trillion in 2013 and 34% of the total assets managed by Islamic banks are in the GCC. Moreover, it is reported that Islamic finance industry has increased by 20% in the last five years while conventional finance in most countries was either stagnant or had a very conservative growth.
This further confirms the fact that Islamic finance is far more resilient at times of financial crisis than conventional finance as the recent one has clearly proved which is due to the underlying principles of Islamic finance as they are real asset backed modes of financing.
Islamic Sukuk in particular has witnessed a phenomenal growth in the last few years, following the decision of some governments to issue Sukuk to finance some of their governmental sectors which has led to the expansion of the Islamic Sukuk market. However, despite all these notable achievements, Islamic finance still represents only 1.3% of the total international finance market.
Based on the above mentioned developments the Sharjah Islamic Center for Studies and Research in Islamic Finance has decided to organize its first Conference under the title “Islamic finance: Innovative tools, Contentious applications issues and future challenges.