Oct 05 2011
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A slice of turkey
The Islamic finance onslaught comes after much diplomatic handshaking at the highest level earlier this year when both countries announced the lifting of travel visas and the two prime ministers agreed that a free trade agreement should be signed by the end of 2011.
Malaysia wants to export its Islamic finance expertise and experience, while at the same time opening up its own markets to investment from emerging players like Turkey. Right now the Malaysia-Turkey détente looks like a win-win situation.
One battering ram the Malaysians are deploying to
get into Turkey's markets is Islamic finance and it's hoped that this cross-pollination will enhance the already $1.35bn worth of bilateral trade the two countries do.
Abdullah Gül, Turkey's moderate Islamic president, has been dithering on a much-flouted issue of sovereign Sukuk and Turkey's four participation banks, the majority of which are GCC-owned, account for only 5% of the fiercely-secular country's banking assets.
The world's most "comprehensive and tested [Sukuk] infrastructure," said Ibrahim, could be used by Turkey to raise funds for large infrastructure projects such as the building of the Bosphorus shipping canal, while the depth of Islamic funds in Malaysia should interest the Turkish banks as Malaysia offers diversification opportunities with high prospects for the development and distribution of Shari'ah compliant funds across borders.
On other fronts ISRA was offered up as a Shari'ah research collaborator while INCEIF was put forward as a training and education partner.
Some Malaysian Islamic banking industry players have said that this is the beginning of Malaysia exporting its national and institutional Islamic finance experience, with one saying that the Malaysian model is not just about the domestic Malaysian market any more, and the industry collectively has enough expertise and experience to help develop the needs of new and untapped emerging markets.
© The Islamic Globe 2011
© Copyright Zawya. All Rights Reserved.
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