Industry leaders, researchers and practitioners gathered at the Institute of Business Management (IoBM) for the 3rd International Conference on Islamic Banking and Finance (ICIBF) on Wednesday, November 06, 2019. The theme of this two-day Conference was “Islamic Finance for Small and Medium Enterprises (IFSME) and Social Responsibility.” Dr. Ishrat Husain, Advisor to the Prime Minister on Institutional Reforms and Austerity attended the event as the chief guest. Syed Amir Ali, President and CEO, Bank Islami, Dr. Kabir Hassan, faculty at the University of New Orleans among others were also present. IoBM’s Talib S. Karim, President, Bashir Janmohammad, Chancellor and Prof. Dr. Amanat Ali Jalbani, Dean CBM and Director ORIC/OGS were speakers in the inaugural session.
Dr. Ishrat Husain advised students to absorb knowledge and use it to solve real problems. He highlighted four key problems hampering Pakistan’s economic growth including poverty, economic inequality, regional disparity and illiteracy. He proposed the need to help young entrepreneurs, provide education to rural women and promote the program-lending business model. He stressed the use of Ijara in agricultural financing and to educate poor students from backward areas. He was hopeful that fintech and artificial intelligence can develop credit scoring models. He was confident that investments in low-cost affordable housing schemes will bring positive results and that the government of Pakistan is promoting this initiative. During his address, Talib S. Karim congratulated the organizing committee to host ICIBF for the third time. He expressed the need to establish a Centre of Islamic Banking to explore the potential of this sector in Pakistan. Speaking at the event, Bashir Janmohammed said that individuals and institutions must facilitate economic growth. He advised students to create jobs by launching startups. Syed Amir Ali emphasized the role of Sharia scholars to promote Islamic Banking. He shared that the assets of Islamic banking in Pakistan crossed by Rs. three billion while its share in the overall banking sector was 15.9%. He further stressed the need to evolve SMEs that can add value to the country’s financial sector.
While presenting the conference flow, Dr. Jalbani welcomed the national and international delegates attending this conference. He was hopeful that this conference will discuss the leading trends in contemporary Islamic banking and human capital. He underlined the need to disseminate the knowledge of Islamic banking among all stakeholders. Addressing the conference as the keynote speaker, Dr. Kabir Hassan shared insights into the circular and linear economy, sustainable development and Islamic finance. He said that Pakistan needs to follow the circular economy model. This will reduce waste and allow us to optimize available resources.
The two-day conference which will continue on November 7 has invited international speakers from the USA, Australia, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Malaysia and Qatar. The speakers will discuss how Islamic banking facilitates small and medium enterprises. They will also reflect on CSR activities and its impact on the unbanked population of Pakistan. Industry experts will discuss the economic and industry risks when establishing Islamic enterprises. IoBM’s Tazeen Arsalan, HoD Accounting and Finance and Dr. Imam Uddin, Associate Professor and Convener ICIBF 2019 are the organizers of this conference. The discussions and discourses at the ICIBF will present insights to students and faculty on how Islamic banking is evolving in Pakistan. It will highlight the role of IFSMEs in the economic and social development of Pakistan.