Jul 15 2009
|more articles from|
UAE Islamic finance mission visits Australia
Wednesday, Jul 15, 2009
Dubai: The first Islamic financial services mission of the UAE to Australia ended successfully and the Dubai Export Development Corporation (EDC) is expecting new business opportunities for the Islamic finance sector as a result of the trade mission.
The delegates sought to encourage changes in Australia's federal taxation which will allow Islamic financial products to be treated at par with conventional financial products.
The UAE's Islamic finance companies met with the Treasury officials in Canberra to discuss the current rules governing its financial services and incorporate Islamic financial products.
"Australia, with a Muslim population of about 400,000 and growing at 20 per cent per year, is an attractive market for the UAE's Islamic finance firms. It is estimated that the annual household purchasing power of Australian Muslims is in excess of A$3.3 billion [Dh9.58 billion]," he added.
However, some states in Australia such as Victoria have approved the State Taxation Act (Amendment) Act 2004, through the State Legislative Assembly and Legislative Council, which abolished double stamp duty on Islamic home finance.
Other Australian states are also considering making similar changes to their state taxation in order to accommodate Sharia- compliant home finance.
Al Awadi said: "These challenges are being faced in most countries abroad. In 2005 and 2006, the UK government headed by the then Chancellor Gordon Brown introduced a legislation to incorporate Sharia compliant products into the UK financial services framework.
"Although, the UK does not mention Islamic fin-ance it nevertheless used such contracts to base the changes in taxation. For example, the Finance Act 2005 under section 47 defines a purchase and resale contract which happens to correspond to a traditional murabaha contract. In a similar manner, a Sharia-compliant deposit is treated as a profit share return or in an Islamic context a Mudarabah contract.
"As a direct result of these changes, the UK now boasts two Islamic banks and a number of banks with Islamic windows. We hope to achieve similar modifications within the Australian financial system through our recent trade mission, eventually introducing Islamic financial products down under."
Kym Hewett, Australian Senior Trade Commissioner in Dubai, said: "I am keen to see the positive experience the delegates on the initial mission translate into a great level of understanding on Islamic finance products and deeper level of engagement between financial institutions in Australia and the UAE.
"Austrade's relationship with EDC continues to evolve since our Tradelink Partnership signing in 2008."
© Gulf News 2009. All rights reserved.
© Copyright Zawya. All Rights Reserved.
More in Islamic Finance
- UPDATE 1-Korean women scrap meeting Japanese mayor over brothel remarks
- REFILE-Elderly Korean women cancel meet with Osaka mayor over war brothel remarks
- Korean "grannies" cancel meet with Osaka mayor over war brothel remarks
- Solar plane completes second leg of cross-country flight in Texas
- College student snares record long Burmese python near Miami
- There's More