World Islamic Banking Conference
Date: 21-23 November 2011
Venue: - Bahrain

The 18th Annual World Islamic Banking Conference (WIBC 2011) was held on 21-23 November 2011 in Kingdom of Bahrain under the patronage of HRH Prince Khalifa Bin Salman Al Khalifa, the Prime Minister of the Kingdom of Bahrain, and with the official support of the Central Bank of Bahrain. More than 1300 industry leaders from over 50 countries gathered in full force at the 18th WIBC to discuss the future of the Islamic banking industry. The conference aimed to give the international Islamic finance industry a collaborative platform to highlight the key issues the industry is facing across the globe. The Centre was represented at the event by Dr. Savas Alpay, Director General, and Mr. Nadi Serhan Aydin, Researcher.

The theme for WIBC 2011, Competing for Global Growth, addresses the new opportunities in terms of expanding the internationalization of the Islamic finance industry – boosting cross-border transactions, accessing new markets, and designing new products – pointing the way towards renewed growth horizons. The conference brought together key regulators and industry leaders. Inaugural keynote speakers of the WIBC 2011 included H.E. Rasheed M. Al Maraj, Governor of the Central Bank of Bahrain and H.E. Khaled Mohammed Al-Aboodi, CEO and General Manager of the Islamic Corporation for the Development of the Private Sector – the private sector arm of the Islamic Development Bank Group (IDB).

The inaugural plenary session was immediately followed by a high-powered CEO and industry leaders' debate. Moderated by Mr. Ashar Nazim, Senior Director, MENA Leader for Islamic Finance at Ernst & Young, the power debate session examined how leading players are positioning themselves to capitalize on the new growth opportunities presented by the increasing internationalization of Islamic banking and finance.

The World Islamic Banking Exhibition which was held along the sidelines of the conference was inaugurated by Khalid Hamad Abdul-Rahman Hamad, Executive Director of Banking Supervision at the Central Bank of Bahrain and showcased latest products, services and innovations from over 64 exhibitors.

WIBC 2011 featured exclusive UK and France Roundtable sessions which were chaired by British and French Ambassadors to Bahrain, respectively. While the UK Roundtable analyzed the latest developments in Islamic finance in the United Kingdom and assessed the opportunities for building international partnerships, the France Roundtable addressed the on-going challenge of building an appropriate and friendly environment for Islamic finance in France.

The anticipated Ernst & Young World Islamic Banking Competitiveness Report, which is designed to identify the bar of competitive excellence, strategic leadership and performance improvement in the Islamic finance industry, was presented at a special plenary session of the WIBC 2011. The report explores key industry trends and critical success factors guiding the global Islamic banking and finance industry into its next chapter of performance and growth. According to the inaugural report, Islamic banking assets with commercial banks globally will reach US$1.1 trillion in 2012, a significant jump of 33% from their 2010 level of US$826 billion. The report also highlights that Islamic banking assets in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region increased to US$416 billion in 2010, representing a five year compund average growth rate (CAGR) of 20% compared to less than 9% for conventional banks.

The WIBC 2011 also hosted a ceremony for three prestigious and high profile awards. Based on select criteria assessed by the WIBC Awards Committee, Mr. Tirad Mahmoud, Chief Executive Officer of Abu Dhabi Islamic Bank (ADIB), was named the 2011 WIBC Islamic Banker of the Year. The WIBC 2011 Institutional Excellence Award 2011 was presented to Elaf Bank in recognition of their well-defined growth path harmonious with its intent of broadening the opportunities and growing the geographical scope and reach of Islamic finance to benefit both the Middle East and South East Asia regions, and beyond. The WIBC 2011 Outstanding Contribution to the Islamic Finance Industry Award was presented to International Islamic Financial Market (IIFM) in recognition of contributions made by IIFM in shaping and crystallizing the common vision for the development of the global Islamic financial services industry. Finally, a special WIBC Thought Leadership Award was presented to Ernst & Young in recognition of the contribution made by Ernst & Young and their world renowned Islamic Financial Services Group towards responding to the needs of both Islamic financial institutions.

The second day of the WIBC 2011 continued with keynote addresses from Mr. Jaseem Ahmed, the Secretary-General of the Islamic Financial Services Board (IFSB), and internationally respected academic Prof. Kishore Mahbubani.

For more information please visit the conference website: