Sunday, March 1, 2009

UK and Malaysia working side-by-side

(UKTI Press release)
More doors to opportunities in Islamic finance between the UK and Malaysia will open with a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) signed on Wednesday, 25 February by UK Trade & Investment (UKTI) and Bank Negara Malaysia.
Signed by UKTI Chief Executive Officer Sir Andrew Cahn and Governor Zeti Akhtar Aziz, the agreement maps out how the two organisations will work together to make Islamic finance a global success by:
Encouraging the exchange of Islamic finance staff, experts and students;
Encouraging joint-education programmes on Islamic finance with reciprocal academic, professional and vocational qualifications;
Supporting Islamic finance policy exchanges between advisers, officials and legislators to learn from experiences; and
Promoting mutual recognition of standards around Islamic finance transactions, such as Shariah interpretations and accounting, legal and regulatory treatments.
Globally, Islamic finance is estimated at $250 billion with an expected growth between 10 and 15 per cent per annum over the next few years.
UKTI Chief Executive Officer Sir Andrew Cahn said:
"As conventional liquidity becomes difficult to come by, companies are looking for alternative financial options, helping Islamic finance grow in the mainstream international finance market.
"Despite its origins overseas, Islamic finance has found a natural home in the UK and working in partnership with Malaysia helps cement the global positions of both countries as centres of excellence in Islamic finance."
Enjoying close historic, educational and commercial ties, Malaysia is the UK's second-largest South East Asia export market, while the UK is one of its largest investors.
Bank Negara Malaysia Governor Dr Zeti Akhtar Aziz said:
"The MoU signifies the establishment of a collaborative partnership between the two countries in the area of Islamic finance and provides the potential to strengthen the inter-linkages amongst key financial centres in Islamic finance in the international financial system."
A working group of representatives will help drive the MoU forward.

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