The global Islamic finance industry, with total assets of US$3.06 trillion, has the potential to contribute significantly toward addressing the funding gap in meeting the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). This was a key theme highlighted by thought leaders and Islamic finance luminaries attending the recent Islamic Sustainable Finance & Investment (ISFI) Forum hosted by REDmoney and Capital Markets Malaysia (CMM) at the Securities Commission Malaysia.
The forum, now in its fourth year, brought together senior Islamic sustainable finance leaders from the Middle East, Europe, Africa and the ASEAN region to discuss opportunities and trends shaping innovation in Shariah-compliant sustainable finance offerings, and how the Islamic finance sector can meaningfully contribute toward climate action globally.
Andrew Morgan, the managing director of REDmoney and publisher of ISFI remarked: “Recognising the potential for Islamic finance to support the funding required for sustainable development projects globally, we are delighted to be able to convene the industry’s most influential actors including practitioners, investors and regulators in a meaningful engagement to further drive the sector forward. We are also thrilled to be hosting the forum in person in Kuala Lumpur, widely viewed as the international center for Shariah sustainable and green finance.”
In recent years, REDmoney and CMM have collaborated on engagements to create awareness of the natural alignment between the tenets of Islamic finance and environmental, social and governance (ESG) principles and the significant opportunity this provides for Islamic financial markets to develop innovative Shariah-compliant instruments to finance climate action and the SDGs.
CMM’s Head of Stakeholder Engagement and Business Development Navina Balasingam highlighted: “Malaysia has leveraged its global Islamic capital market leadership and the collective Islamic finance expertise of its market players to lead in the development of innovative Shariah compliant sustainable finance instruments.
“The ISFI forum provides an excellent opportunity for our financial sector intermediaries to demonstrate this leadership while also learning from other progressive markets.”
The ISFI forum attracted over 300 financial sector stakeholders from 20 countries. Key themes discussed covered the impact of climate finance policy and regulation on the financial services sector, innovation in the delivery of Islamic sustainable finance instruments and key funding considerations for Islamic sustainable issuers.
The forum’s lead partners included CIMB Islamic, Dubai Islamic Bank, HSBC Amanah Bank, Kenanga Investors and the Islamic Development Bank.