DUBAI, 3rd February, 2018 (WAM) — Essa Kazim, Secretary-General of the Dubai Islamic Economy Development Centre, DIEDC, noted that 2017 was a year of breakthroughs in the development of the Islamic economy.
In his remarks during the first meeting of the DIEDC on Saturday, he said, “DIEDC’s 2017-2021 strategy seeks to further strengthen the regulatory infrastructure of Islamic economy. Some of our key developments last year following the implementation of the strategy included the establishment of the Higher Sharia Authority for Islamic Banking and Financial Services managed by the Central Bank of the UAE.
“In line with the strategy’s objectives of ensuring an Islamic economy-friendly environment, the Centre collaborated with stakeholders to develop a first-of-its-kind accelerator to support the growth of Islamic FinTech and attract entrepreneurs to its various sectors thereby integrating advanced financial services technology into the Middle Eastern, African and South Asian markets.”
Kazim said the growing culture of responsible investment around the world has facilitated stakeholders, including DIEDC, in spreading the principles of the Islamic economy in new markets and increased opportunities for young people to enter its sectors and build thriving careers within the system that has proven its sustainability in wealth protection and creating stability.
He pointed out that the initiatives the Centre intends to implement in 2018 will provide financial institutions and investors that have previously faced major challenges related to standardisation within Islamic economy with more growth opportunities. The Centre is working relentlessly towards standardisation through establishing an independent company that provides legislative services to Islamic financial institutions.
During the board meeting, Abdulla Mohammed Al Awar, CEO of DIEDC, highlighted the key initiatives launched by the Centre and its partners in 2017 towards achieving the objectives outlined in the 2017-2021 strategy.
Confirming that these initiatives had contributed significantly to growing the Islamic economy, Al Awar said, “The outstanding initiatives launched in 2017 focussed on promoting the scientific principles and ethics of the Islamic economy. Some of these included co-ordinating with academic institutions to provide academic programmes in Islamic economy, publishing the book ‘Global Perspectives on the Islamic Creative Economy’ in Dubai, London, and Australia, and launching the first-ever technology accelerator in the region’s FinTech Hive.”
The CEO further suggested the possibility of developing an academic programme for the halal sector in co-operation with the Emirates International Accreditation Centre. Pointing out that modern technological innovations and smart applications provide promising opportunities, he said this ensures that the production supply chain is standardised and complies with international halal standardisation. He added that standardisation is especially relevant given the growth of this sector that has become the largest and most diversified in the Islamic economy.
Al Awar explained that DIEDC’s strategic partners, such as the Emirates International Accreditation Centre, are in the process of innovating RFID tags for halal products, in addition to setting up a halal sector data bank and implementing regulations that enforce the use of smart halal brands.
In closing, he said 2018 will witness two major milestones for the Islamic economy that can have significant implications in forecasting the future of this economic system. These include the Islamic Economy Fiqh Forum in April 2018, in co-operation with the Islamic Affairs and Charitable Activities Department, one of DIEDC’s strategic partners, and the fourth edition of the Global Islamic Economy Summit set to take place on 30th October.