KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia has maintained its position as the global leader in Islamic finance and the sector has matured to become vibrant with a diverse set of industry players, said Deputy Finance Minister Datuk Amiruddin Hamzah.
He said Malaysia continued to be the main driver for the sukuk market and represented 51 per cent of the US$396 billion of total global outstanding sukuk last year, while continuing to lead in Islamic wealth management industry with 36.5 per cent of the global share as at end-2017.
“Since its inception over 30 years ago, Islamic finance has become more vibrant with diverse set of industry players which included legal, accounting, technology and rating companies, as well as commodity trading platforms.
“The financial institutions and professional ancillary service providers in Malaysia have vast experience and are instrumental in facilitating the growth of the industry beyond our national border,” he said in his opening address at the Global Islamic Finance Forum 2018 here today.
“Malaysia also spearheaded a number of innovative developments in Islamic finance, with the aim to spur the vibrancy of this thriving industry, such as the issuance of the first Sustainable and Responsible Investment Sukuk (SRI) and Green Sukuk, the launch of the Investment Account Platform (IAP) and development of the Waqf Fund to develop the Muslim economy,” he said.
Last year, Bank Negara Malaysia issued a strategic paper on Value-based Intermediation (VBI) which articulated strategies to strengthen the roles and impact of Islamic banks towards a sustainable financial ecosystem.
On this, Amiruddin said the industry’s move towards embracing VBI would further strengthen Malaysia’s leadership position, and advance the growth of Islamic finance towards generating positive, sustainable impact to the economy, community and environment.
Meanwhile, he said the Malaysian economy remained fundamentally strong and resilient despite recent global events that posed downside risks to global economic growth as it was supported by sound domestic demand, as well as sustained global growth and trade.
Amiruddin said growth was expected to be sustained, supported mainly by private sector activity while positive labour market conditions and capacity expansion would continue to support robust private consumption and investment.
“The growth momentum will be supported by sustained global growth and trade momentum, private spending and household spending,” he said.
The deputy minister said private sector spending was expected to benefit from continued positive spillovers from external demand as recent indicators pointed towards improvements in business and consumer sentiments.
“Household spending will be supported by favourable labour market conditions and additional spending from the tax holiday, he added.