Bermuda seeks Islamic finance business at Singapore summit

By added on 08/06/2012

“Open for Islamic business:” That’s the message Business Bermuda took to the World Islamic Banking Conference: Asia Summit in Singapore, reports the Royal Gazette.

“After a whirlwind of meetings, events, conferences, and media interviews in Shanghai, Beijing, Singapore, and Hong Kong, Business Bermuda concluded the 2012 Asia Business Development Drive on a high note,” A Business Bermuda statement said.

The WIBC took place yesterday and Tuesday.

“This year, for the first time, Business Bermuda was invited to be a part of the WIBC Asia 2012 through exhibiting and the opportunity to speak,” the statement said.

Leading the delegation was Cheryl Packwood, CEO of Business Bermuda, joined by Mr. P Jeyaratnam, Business Bermuda’s representative in Southeast Asia, Srikumar TE, managing director of Apex Funds Services Ltd, Kung Whooi Phing, director at Conyers Dill & Pearman in Singapore, and Yelena Packwood, marketing and sales executive of Business Bermuda.

“With over 500 industry leaders in attendance, there was an overwhelming interest in the opportunities available for Islamic finance clients in Bermuda, especially in the areas of Takaful and Re-Takaful in light of Bermuda’s strength as one of the top re/insurance jurisdictions in the world,” the statement said.

“As one of the few Islamic finance centres in the Western hemisphere, Bermuda’s unique position to expand the Islamic finance market, now valued at over US$1.1 trillion, was cause for much excitement.”

Hussain AlQemzi, CEO of Noor Islamic Bank said that “in order to ensure an orderly evolution of Islamic finance from a niche segment into the mainstream international financial markets, it is vital to further enhance the industry’s capabilities for cross-border activities, which in turn will encourage innovative product development, robust and standardised regulatory frameworks and the long term stability of the industry”.

Ravi Menon, Governor of the Monetary Authority of Singapore, opened the conference by stating, “Islamic Finance must strike roots in the key financial centres of the world … and it can grow into diverse areas such as trade and infrastructure development.”

Ms Packwood then gave a speech on how Bermuda was ideally suited bridge the gap between Asia, the Middle East, Europe, and North America.

She presented and participated in a panel discussion on the topic, “Opening New Frontiers for Islamic Finance — New Geographies, New Developments, and New Products.”

After the panel discussion, Ms Packwood was invited to be a guest speaker to present on the role of Bermuda in bridging the divide between East and West at an invitation-only Islamic finance forum hosted in Malaysia in September for decision makers in the world of Islamic Finance.