14.01.2014, Almaty, Kazakhstan – Kazakhstan’s economic capital city of Almaty has been chosen to host a high level regional forum organized by the Islamic Development Bank (IDB) Group involving 11 of its member countries, in order to carry out a candid assessment of the Group’s performance during the past four decades and also discuss future challenges and regional/global priorities and strategies for the next 10 years. The forum which is taking place on 15 January comes as part of the
celebrations marking the IDB Group’s 40th anniversary due to be held in Jeddah, KSA, 25-26 June, 2014.
The host country Kazakhstan was amongst the early countries in the region to join the IDB Group and has so far received more than US$ 1.2 billion of the Group financings. The IDB Group’s total financing of socio-economic development projects in its member countries and Muslim communities in non-member countries has by far exceeded US$ 92 billion.
In Almaty on 14.01.2014, two regional workshops on “promoting the Islamic financial sector” and “development assistance to Muslim communities” were held as pre-forum events.

The first event on Islamic financial sector development was attended by representatives and experts from the public and private sectors including bankers, central bankers, officials and experts of the ministries of economy from Kazakhstan, Afghanistan, Albania, Azerbaijan, Iran, Kyrgyzstan, Pakistan, Tajikistan, Turkey, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan (as well as Bosnia, Kosovo and Tatarstan). The participants discussed the effectiveness of IDB Group’s programs and interventions in promoting
Islamic finance within the region. Promoting comprehensive human development, improving the legal and regulatory frameworks, better linking of the Islamic financial products with the productive economy, enhancing liquidity management, contributing to betterment of capitalization in Islamic banks and raising awareness on IDB interventions in the region were amongst the main issues discussed.

It is worth mention that, since its establishment in 1975, the IDB Group has been a forerunner of promoting Islamic finance in the world. The sector enjoys an annual global growth rate of nearly 20 percent with total assets estimated to be in excess of US$ 6.7 trillion by 2020.

The second workshop on development assistance to Muslim communities in non-member countries in the region was attended by representatives from Muslim communities in Mongolia, Georgia, Kosovo, Montenegro, Slovenia, Latvia, Russia and other parts of the Russian Federation.

The workshop reviewed the extent of the impact of assistance programs provided by IDB Group to the Muslim communities in non-member countries in the region in different sectors including education, health, awqaf investments, private sector support and relief aid.

The IDB Group has spent US$ 75 million for 174 projects covering education, health and micro-financing in the countries which were represented in the second workshop. IDB Group’s assistance to Muslim communities in non-member countries has reached US$ 738 million since 1983 inclusive of more than 1700 projects in education, health and relief aid. Nearly 12 thousand individuals from 50 such countries have benefitted from IDB Group scholarships worth close to US$ 80 million.