ISLAMABAD: The Securities and Exchange Commission of Pakistan (SECP) and Accounting and Auditing Organization for Islamic Financial Institutions (AAOIFI) have joined hands to establish a Joint Research and Development Centre (JRDC) to foster growth in Islamic finance.

In this regard, Mr. Mujtaba Ahmad Lodhi, Commissioner (SECP) signed an MoU with H.E. Sh. Ebrahim Bin Khalifa Al Khalifa, Chairman, AAOIFI Board of Trustees at the 8th AAOIFI-IsDB Conference held in Bahrain. AAOIFI is global standard-setting body for the development and issuance of standards for Islamic finance industry.

Mr. Lodhi was one of the esteemed panelists at the AAOFI conference and presented an in-depth talk on the role of Islamic finance for diversification of economic activity. Key officials of Central Bank of Bahrain, International Islamic Financial Markets and Bahrain Institute of Banking and Finance also met with Mr. Lodhi to discuss areas of mutual cooperation.

JDRC, hosted by SECP, signifies a pivotal step towards advancing capacity building, advocacy, and policy formulation to foster growth in the Islamic financial services industry in Pakistan. Under the MOU, AAOIFI will also extend technical support to SECP for capacity-building, research and advocacy activities.

SECP anticipates that partnering with global entities such as AAOIFI will ease the execution of the Federal Shariat Court’s decision and support the government’s commitment to eradicate Riba from the economy.