Dubai – MENA Herald: In line with Dubai ‘Capital of Islamic Economy’ Initiative, and as the first of its kind endeavor on the Asian and regional level to promote the mutual growth of Islamic economies in the UAE and China, Dubai Center for Islamic Banking and Finance (DCIBF) at Hamdan Bin Mohammed Smart University (HBMSU) and Dubai Islamic Economy Development Centre (DIEDC), in cooperation with the China Islamic Finance Club, and ZhiShang Interculture Communication, as well as in knowledge partnership with Thomson Reuters, will organize the first China-UAE Conference on Islamic Banking and Finance, May 24 – 25, 2016 at the Diaoyutai State Guest House Fanghuayuan Estate, Beijing, China.

Held under the title “Islamic banking and Finance: Perspectives, Challenges and Sustainable Impact,” the Conference will serve as an international platform for experts, decision-makers, scholars, academicians and other Islamic Banking and Finance stakeholders to exchange knowledge and best practices and share key theoretical and practical developments.

This conference provides an ideal platform for innovative research in the field of Islamic economics. The conference program includes important aspects that affect the Islamic finance industry, it will also discuss the future challenges in this sector and directing abilities to make a sustainable impact. The conference also includes the discussions of Committee of Experts that provide opportunity for wide participation from attendees, and concurrent sessions covering topics of the conference, as well as a program of visits include some of China’s heritage landmarks.

Keynote addresses from prominent industry figures will highlight the drivers of Islamic finance in China and the country’s ongoing efforts to further develop its Islamic financial and investment market as well as factors that will affect the local sector in the coming years.
Speakers to be featured at the event include Professor Wang Yiwei, Director of the Institute of International Affairs and former Chinese Ambassador to the European Union; Abdulla Mohammed Al Awar, CEO, Dubai Islamic Economy Development Centre; Tariq Abdul Rahman Mohamed Zainal, Emirates Authority for Standardisation and Metrology; Professor Zhang Zheng, Vice-president, School of Economics, Peking University Mr. Li Jiping, Executive President of China Association for the Promotion of Development Financing, Mr. Xing Jun,Secretary General of China Association for the Promotion of Development, and Cheng Manjiang, Chief Economist and Global Head of Research Department, BOC International, to name a few. Prof. Nabil Baydoun, Vice Chancellor for Enterprise & University Advancement at HBMSU, will join an afternoon panel discussion on ‘Dubai the Capital of Islamic Economy – Challenges and Opportunities in the Current Financial Climate’ on the first day.

Dr. Mansoor Al Awar, Chancellor, HBMSU, said: “Over the years the global Islamic economy has grown into a huge USD 2.3 trillion sector servicing a growing community of 1.6 billion Muslims. Our upcoming conference in China will discuss the many opportunities offered by this rapidly expanding economy to a global market that is becoming increasingly more receptive to the benefits of Islamic finance over conventional financial systems. It will also be an excellent platform for the UAE and China to collaboratively pursue prime opportunities in Islamic banking and finance, set clearer directions for future partnerships, and help drive more growth in the global Islamic economy.”

For his part, Abdulla Mohammed Al Awar, Chief Executive Officer of Dubai Islamic Economy Development Centre, said: “Over the last few years we have noticed a gradual shift in the global economic landscape with investments increasingly moving towards the East in general and China in particular. Having proved its ability to drive investments to vital and sustainable sectors, there is little doubt today that China will continue to attract serious stakeholders keen on investing in different sectors of the Islamic economy. This first-of-its-kind China-UAE conference on Islamic banking and finance paves the way towards an enriching collaboration – replete with opportunities, experiences and expertise – between the UAE and China. We are confident this definitive event will open up new horizons in responsible investment and real funding for sustainable development projects.”

Ms. Huang Lei, the Founder and CEO of China Islamic Finance Club, said: “The development of Islamic finance in China is full of great potential. After the economic crisis in 2008, Islamic investors are interested in increasing their investments in countries of sustainable development like China. China proposed “the Belt and Road” initiative in 2013 with the aim to actively develop economic cooperation partnership with countries along the Belt and Road and to co-establish the community featured by political mutual trust, regional economic cooperation and mutual learning between different civilizations, especially to cooperate with the Middle East.”

The first China-UAE Conference on Islamic Banking and Finance reflects DCIBF’s commitment to advancing the professional and theoretical foundations for Islamic Banking and Finance and related areas. The conference supports the vision of the wise leadership to establish Dubai as the ‘Capital of Islamic Economy.’
Hong Kong is currently the epicenter for Islamic finance in Asia. It issued its first USD 1billion sukuk in September 2014. The Hong Kong Monetary Authority has already introduced regulations for Islamic finance activities, choosing a ‘substance-over-form’ policy for Islamic structures. The debuting conference aims to capitalize on the strategic ties between the UAE and China to identify challenges and opportunities related to Islamic finance and explore major factors affecting the sector’s future.