GFIEF Marks Deepening Cooperation Between IsDB & the Government of Malaysia

Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, 30 May 2024 – The Islamic Development Bank, through its Center of Excellence in Kuala Lumpur, joined hands as a strategic partner with the Ministry of Finance (MOF) and Central Bank of Malaysia (BNM) in organizing ‘Global Forum of Islamic Economics and Finance (GFIEF)’ from May 28 to 29, 2024 at the Kuala Lumpur Convention Center, Malaysia.

The event was also organized in collaboration with the Securities Commission Malaysia, Labuan Financial Services Authority, the International Islamic Liquidity Management Corporation, the Islamic Financial Services Board and the World Bank Group

Themed ‘Shaping a Resilient Global Islamic Economy Through Values-based Reforms’, GFIEF was officiated by The Hon. Dato’ Seri Anwar Ibrahim, Prime Minister of Malaysia. The event gathered policymakers, business leaders, and financial service providers from all around the world to engage in discussion and collaborate to build a future where Islamic economics and finance can play a pivotal role in fostering shared prosperity and equity.

In the opening session, H.E. Dr. Muhammad Al Jasser, Islamic Development Bank President, took the stage virtually to deliver the welcoming remarks. He mentioned that IsDB recognizes the substantial opportunities and challenges faced by Islamic economies worldwide. These challenges are multifaceted, intertwined, and exacerbated by some megatrends such as digitization, climate change, and geopolitical tensions, which, if not well harnessed, could push millions of people back into poverty and worsen inequality in accessing basic services. “Against this backdrop, it is sensible to consider a proactive and values-driven approach as part of the solutions’, he added.

At the forum, two side events were organized with IsDB’s participation. The IsDB - IFMC Treasurers Dialogue’ was organized in collaboration with Islamic Financial Market Subcommittee (IFMC) of the BNM, aimed to discuss areas of collaboration and issues that can help strengthen Malaysia-IsDB investment linkages.

Dr Issa Faye, Director General Global Practices and Partnership, who led the IsDB delegation throughout this forum, delivered the welcoming address. In his address, he emphasized that “the IsDB is committed to fostering deeper financial ties with Malaysia's Islamic financial market, with current engagements exceeding US$ 1 billion. Our goal is to further increase these exposures, reflecting our dedication to mutual growth and investment opportunities”.

The event also witnessed the signing ceremony of Murabaha Deposits Placement Agreements between IsDB and RHB Bank, and Affin Islamic Bank. The Agreements aimed to facilitate fund placements across the institutions.

In another side event, titled: ‘WB-IsDB High-Level Policy Roundtable on Impact Evaluation’ which was co-organized with the World Bank EAPCE Research Center and moderated by Dr Issa Faye, discussions focused on the opportunities and challenges in establishing Monitoring & Evaluation culture, and policy framework on impact evaluation. The roundtable was attended by high-level representatives of several key ministries and agencies.

As one of the panelists in the closing session of the forum, Dr Issa Faye stressed the importance of harnessing the value based system through innovation in the Islamic Finance space, which will bring development solutions to address the challenges faced by many fragile IsDB member countries. He also acknowledged the huge potential of Halal market and the need to amplify collaborative efforts among the OIC countries to strengthen the Halal industry globally.

The Forum also brought into discussion the potential collaboration between MOF, BNM, World Bank, and IsDB on ‘Greening Halal Businesses’, an initiative to support the transition of Halal business communities to greener and more sustainable practices in the Halal Industry in Malaysia and other IsDB member countries.