Global Islamic Finance Summit was organised around GIFA2020 in Islamabad

This year, this coveted award was presented to Dr. Arif Alvi for Pakistan's leadership in the global Islamic financial services industry


Edbiz International Advisors successfully concluded its twin-event, Global Islamic Finance Awards (GIFA) and Global Islamic Finance Summit (GIFS) in Islamabad, which was attended by a large number of Islamic bankers, regulators, government officials and, most importantly, by Dr. Arif Alvi, President of Pakistan. On the occasion, Dr. Alvi was installed as the 10th GIFA Laureate. Every year, a head of state or government is chosen to receive Global Islamic Finance Leadership Award for their advocacy of Islamic banking and finance. This year, this coveted award was presented to Dr. Arif Alvi for Pakistan’s leadership in the global Islamic financial services industry.

There were another 70+ awards presented to the individuals and institutions for their contribution to development of Islamic banking and finance.

The Awards Ceremony was complemented with Global Islamic Finance Summit 2020, which attracted a number of local and international speakers. There were two high-powered sessions chaired by Dr. Jamshaid Anwar Chattha (former Assistant Secretary General of IFSB) and Kamal Mian (a veteran Islamic banking expert). 

The panelists discussed a number of issues facing the global Islamic financial services industry, with a special focus on Pakistan. Dr. Reza Baqir, Governor of the State Bank of Pakistan, highlighted the lack of awareness of Islamic banking and finance, and asserted that share of Islamic banking in the national sector could be improved by educating the masses on the differences between Islamic and conventional banking.

This sentiment was shared by Dr. Arif Alvi who said that the real benefits of Islamic banking and finance would be realised if it was clarified to the users that it is really different from the interest-based finance. Also, it must be based on the principles of compassion, fairness, transparency, and equal opportunities.

The panelists suggested that an independent think tank must be set up in Pakistan to further develop Islamic banking and finance. Pakistan has all the ingredients of becoming a global centre of excellence. It was in particular mentioned that the model of KNEKS in Indonesia should be looked into to develop Islamic banking and finance in Pakistan. KNEKS is a think tank set up by Joko Widodo, President of Indonesia, to develop infrastructure for Indonesia to become a global leader in this field. On the occasion, KNEKS was presented a Global Islamic Finance Advocacy Award 2020. The award was received by Dr. Amin Ma’ruf, Vice President of Indonesia and Co-chairman of KNEKS.

Professor Humayon Dar, Founding Chairman of GIFA, commended all the winners on their achievements. In particular, he highlighted the role of the State Bank of Pakistan for laying foundations of a robust and sustainable Islamic banking sector in the country. Dr. Reza Baqir, who received the Best Central Bank of the Year award 2020 on behalf of State Bank of Pakistan, reiterated the commitment of the central bank to facilitate Islamic banking in the country.

Other winners of the GIFA awards included Meezan Bank, Faysal Bank, Dubai Islamic Bank Pakistan, HBL Islamic Banking, HabibMetro SIRAT, and Bank Alfalah Islamic. Dr. Shamshad Akhtar, former Governor of the State Bank of Pakistan, was honoured with GIFA Lifetime Achievement Award 2020. Justice (R) Mufti Taqi Usmani was presented with a GIFA Excellence Award for his leadership role in the global Islamic financial services industry.

In a concurrent virtual GIFA awards ceremony, further 60 awards were announced for the players in the global Islamic financial services industry. The winners included Islamic banks, asset management firms, universities, charitable organisations, technology providers and many more from around the world.

Notable winners came from Malaysia, Indonesia, Brunei Darussalam, Bangladesh, Pakistan, the UAE, Oman, Bahrain, Saudi Arabia, Sudan, the Russian Federation. Kazakhstan, Nigeria, South Africa, Tunisia, and the U.K. 

About Edbiz International Advisors:
Edbiz International Advisors is a global Islamic finance think tank, headquartered in London and provides multiple services that balance the dual purpose of developing thought leadership in this niche industry and strengthening the Islamic finance capacity for businesses and banks. Its client base is diverse and includes financial institutions, governments, education providers, established businesses and entrepreneurs.

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