Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, 02 March 2023 - Islamic Development Bank (IsDB) Vice President (Finance & CFO), Dr. Zamir Iqbal, held a bilateral meeting with the Lord Mayor of the City of London, Mr Nicholas Lyons, who visited Saudi Arabia at the head of a high-level delegation of leading London-based financiers. The Lord Mayor was also accompanied by His Majesty’s Consul General Cecille El Beleidy, UK Special Envoy to the Organization of Islamic Conference (OIC).
Addressing the UK delegation, IsDB Vice President Iqbal lauded the long-standing partnership between the IsDB and the United Kingdom, especially with the Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office (FCDO) in the area of development cooperation. He provided an overview of IsDB’s current strategy of inclusive and sustainable development, highlighting its renewed focus on climate finance, which is set to represent 35 percent of IsDB’s annual commitments by 2025. IsDB is, in fact, the first supranational issuer of green sukuk, he added.
The Lord Mayor, for his part, praised the IsDB’s global role in Islamic finance. He underlined London’s preeminent position in the Islamic financial services industry in the Western hemisphere. He warmly invited IsDB to seriously consider establishing a permanent field presence in the City of London, in order to fully capitalize on its global footprint and expertise. Both sides agreed to explore potential partnership opportunities in Islamic green finance as well as sustainable infrastructure and agricultural value chains.
The Islamic financial services industry continues to grow globally with total assets worth an estimated US$4 trillion. The robust growth rate of 17 percent registered from 2020 to 2021 is a testimony to the industry’s strong rebound, after large-scale disruptions in 2020.