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World Bank Global Islamic Finance Development Center, the Bank’s first Representation Office on Islamic Finance, is Launched at Borsa İstanbul Premises

31 October 2013 - 14:57

A press conference was held on the occasion of the launch of the World Bank Global Islamic Finance Development Center, the World Bank’s only representation office on Islamic finance. Located in Borsa İstanbul premises, the Center is the result of the cooperation of the World Bank and Undersecretariat of Treasury.

In his keynote speech, Deputy Prime Minister H.E. Ali Babacan said that the efforts to launch the Center were initiated two years before, and Borsa İstanbul was chosen to host the Center in order to underline Borsa İstanbul’s regional power.

As a result of the cooperation of the World Bank and Undersecretariat of Treasury, the first World Bank Global Islamic Finance Development Center located in Borsa İstanbul premises was launched.

The press conference organized on the occasion of the opening ceremony was participated by Deputy Prime Minister H.E. Ali Babacan, World Bank President Dr. Jim Yong Kim, Treasury Undersecretary İbrahim Halil Çanakçı, Central Bank of the Republic of Turkey Deputy Governor Murat Çetinkaya, Capital Markets Board Chairman Vahdettin Ertaş, Borsa İstanbul Chairman & CEO Dr. İbrahim M. Turhan, Banking Regulation and Supervision Authority Chairman Mukim Öztekin, and Association of Participation Banks of Turkey Chairman Ufuk Uyan.

Ali Babacan, "We Intended to Emphasize Borsa İstanbul's regional power"

In his keynote speech, Deputy Prime Minister H.E. Ali Babacan said that the efforts to launch the Center were initiated two years before, and Borsa İstanbul was chosen to host the Center in order to underline Borsa İstanbul’s regional power.

Ali Babacan said, "The efforts to launch this Center started off two years ago. We agreed with the World Bank that locating the Center in İstanbul will have a special meaning. So, we decided to establish the Center under the roof of Borsa İstanbul. This decision is based on the idea to emphasize Borsa İstanbul’s regional power. We provided the required infrastructure. The Center will offer services including information sharing on the development of Islamic finance, technical assistance and consultancy, harmonization, and encouraging information sharing”.

Ali Babacan underlined that there is no legal and practical mechanism to which all countries related with Islamic finance are subject, and added, “This will be one of the key areas of research of this Center. These ideas will be studied technically here. The World Bank’s Center in İstanbul is really very important. Islamic financial products, particularly lease certificates became popular in Southeast Asia first, followed by the Gulf region. We lag behind a little. However, we are confident that the recent efforts will lead İstanbul to be more closely monitored in terms of Islamic finance. It is a great honor for us that a prestigious organization such as the World Bank, with 188 member states, has chosen Turkey. I do hope that this Center will be one that will support all global efforts”.

Jim Yong Kim, "A Symbol of our Common Aim"

The World Bank President Dr. Jim Yong Kim said in his keynote speech that the Development Center under the roof of Borsa İstanbul is a reflection of the efforts to globally improve Islamic finance and contribute to wealth.

Jim Yong Kim said, "I am very pleased to launch the World Bank Global Islamic Finance Center today. This Center is an important symbol of our common aim of improving Islamic finance globally. The Center will at the same time contribute to fighting poverty and sharing the wealth in our member states.  With global access, the Center is the result of the joint work of the Turkish government, Turkish private sector and the World Bank. The brilliant recent growth and globalization of Islamic finance has led the total size of the global Islamic financial assets to increase to USD 1.5 trillion. Many countries, mainly Bahrain, Indonesia and Malaysia have a large Islamic finance sector while others such as Luxembourg and England are making determined steps to improve these financing instruments”.

"I know that Turkish officials keep their promises"

Jim Yong Kim said that in consideration of the increasing importance of Islamic finance and the potential contribution it will make to fighting poverty, the World Bank cooperates with numerous stakeholders in the sector, and went on to say, “I do hope that this Center will be an important cornerstone with respect to the efforts we are making. Within this framework, Turkey will work as a Data Dissemination Center and lead the design and delivery of technical assistance and consultancy services that are up to the latest technology. We can together create and spread information that will make Islamic finance more important for growth and development. I believe that this system and this Center will be very successful since we will work with Turkish officials. I know that Turkish officials keep their promises”.

Dr. İbrahim M. Turhan, "The World Bank’s only Representation Office on Islamic Finance”

Following the ceremony, Borsa İstanbul Chairman & CEO Dr. İbrahim M. Turhan made comments on the World Bank Global Financial Center. Turhan said, “This Center is established with a vision of a global center that leads the development of Islamic finance and that develops Islamic finance products, and is the World Bank’s only representation office on Islamic finance”.

Dr. İbrahim M. Turhan pointed out to the fact that Islamic financial products are founded on sound financial principles including investing in a real asset, basing the yield on production or trade income rather than interest, and displaying risk and yield transparently, and added that, as a newly developing segment, it attracts significant attention from the economy circles. Dr. Turhan went on to say, “During the global crisis process, Islamic financial products offer a remarkable alternative for macro-prudential risk management and infrastructure investment financing. As Borsa İstanbul, we accept it as part of our mission, to encourage the improvement and spreading of Islamic financial products in Turkey, and to support activities that contribute to raising awareness in Turkey and our region.

World Bank Global Islamic Finance Development Center

Established within Borsa İstanbul premises, the World Bank Global Islamic Finance Development Center will operate with the support of Borsa İstanbul, Turkish Treasury Undersecretariat, Banking Regulation and Supervision Agency, Capital Markets Board of Turkey, and Central Bank of the Republic of Turkey under the leadership of the World Bank.

The Center is expected to lead developments in the global Islamic finance area and be active particularly in the Middle East, North Africa, Europe, and Central Asia. In addition to contributing to information sharing, the Center aims to ensure harmonization in the sector, strengthened corporate infrastructure, and enhanced awareness.