Riyadh: In his opening remarks, the Governor of the Saudi Central Bank (SAMA) and Chairman of the Islamic Financial Services Board's (IFSB) Council, Ayman Al-Sayari, welcomed IFSB council members at the IFSB 20th Anniversary Symposium.

Al-Sayari noted that the global Islamic finance sector has witnessed accelerated growth, with the value of its assets standing at over SAR 11.2 trillion, displaying an average growth of 9.6% over the last 3 years.

He added: “Saudi Arabia has a deep-rooted and historical relationship with Islamic finance. It houses the largest Islamic Finance market in the world, with total Islamic assets across sectors exceeding SAR 3.1 trillion".  The Islamic banking sector alone accounts for 33% of the global Islamic bank assets," Al-Sayari said.

The Governor also noted that Saudi Arabia is the largest sovereign sukuk issuer in the world and its cooperative insurance sector is the fastest growing worldwide, with a growth rate approaching 27% in 2022.

The IFSB's annual meetings, hosted by SAMA from 14 to 16 August, 2023, were held in Riyadh to discuss developments in the Islamic finance sector and boost the resiliency and stability of the Islamic Financial Services Industry (IFSI).

Al-Sayari expressed his appreciation for the dedicated work of contributors in achieving the IFSB objectives over the past two decades. He also assured SAMA's commitment to support the IFSB's efforts to develop a resilient and sound Islamic finance market.

This year's annual meetings featured several sideline events and dialogue sessions with participation from experts and decision-makers from the industry. The sessions explored the historical developments of the Islamic financial industry and its role in the economic development of the member countries, emphasizing more international cooperation in developing the industry.

During the meetings, the board members reviewed the IFSB's 2023 Report and the outlooks amid the tightened global financial conditions. They asserted the importance of evaluating the soundness, resiliency and interlink ages of the industry sectors, including Islamic banking, capital markets and Islamic insurance.