Dr. Ishrat Husain, Advisor to the Prime Minister on Institutional Reforms and Austerity, was the chief guest at the 4th International Conference on Islamic Banking and Finance (ICIBF -2020). It was organized by the Institute of Business Management (IoBM), Karachi on Wednesday, November 4, 2020. During his speech, Dr. Husain shared two distinct advantages of Islamic Banking. First, all transactions are based on a real asset. Second, Islamic Banking is a risk-sharing arrangement and not a risk-shifting plan. He called for Islamic bankers to replicate pertinent conventual banking 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. Dr. Husain said that ICIBF-2020 will enable global experts to speak virtually without incurring any costs. He called for educational institutes in Pakistan to continue with virtual classes and invite global experts to share their insights to benefit the students.
ICIBF-2020, a two-day Conference will observe COVID-19 pandemic’s impact on Micro, Small & Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) and the way forward for Islamic Financial Institutions. Speakers at the inaugural session were Mr. Talib S. Karim, President IoBM; Mr. Bashir Janmohammad, Chancellor IoBM; Syed Amir Ali, President, and CEO, BankIslami Pakistan; and Mr. Ahmed Shuja Kidwai, President and CEO, Al Baraka Bank Pakistan.
Mr. Talib Karim said that IoBM is pursuing a hybrid teaching model where a small percentage of students attend classes on campus and the rest attend it from home. ICIBF-2020 is pursuing the same model where national and international speakers are invited to speak online. Mr. Talib Karim duly appreciated the support IoBM has been receiving by BankIslami and Al Baraka Bank in organizing such conferences. Session chair, Mr. Bashir Janmohammad said that Islamic Banking is progressing in Pakistan where conventional banks are setting up Islamic Banking counters. He complimented the government of Pakistan’s initiatives to invest in MSMEs.
Syed Amir Ali believed that ICIBF 2020 will present solutions to control the negative impact of Covid-19 on MSMEs. He shared that the asset base of Islamic Banking from July 2019 to June 2020 has grown to 21%. Deposits have touched rupees 3 trillion while the share of Islamic banks is 16.9%. He shared that 90% of enterprises in Pakistan are SMEs that provide 80% of employment outside of the agriculture sector. Mr. Ahmed Shuja Kidwai viewed that the performance and growth of Islamic banks rest in microfinance and SMEs. He shared that Al Baraka Bank’s monitoring mechanism to support MSMEs in Covid-19 includes a monitoring mechanism, a sustainable supply chain, and steps to support environmental projects among others. The deliberations at IoBM-ICIBF-2020 will facilitate students and researchers. The conference has invited international speakers virtually from the USA, UK, Malaysia, UAE, among other countries. ICIBF-2020 was organized by the College of Business Management’s Accounting and Finance Department in collaboration with ORIC, EMEC, and the Media Department.