Posted on March 11, 2019

Distinguished guests,

Thank you all for joining us today as we move closer to the highly-anticipated 5th Doha Islamic Finance Conference titled ‘Islamic Finance and the Digital World.’ The conference is one of the world’s leading international events on Islamic Finance and this year’s edition will tackle an incredibly important subject that is truly transforming the world. The fourth industrial revolution, driven forth by digital innovation and the ever-increasing digitalisation of the economy has touched virtually every aspect of business and banking. Islamic Finance is of course no exception to this.

The digital world has singlehandedly altered the financial services industry and has in fact given rise to an entirely new subsector, financial technology or Fintech. The changes that we are witnessing every day have significant implications for Islamic Finance, especially considering the industry’s importance and potential for growth. Islamic Finance assets are forecast to be worth US $3.2 trillion by 2020, according to Thomson Reuters. It is clear that an industry of this size must embrace the unstoppable wave of digitalisation – which presents many benefits and advantages.

In the past five years, the growth of Islamic banking industry assets in Qatar has outpaced that of the conventional banking industry, with Islamic banking assets valued at US$97 billion by the end of 2017, which constitutes 81% of the total Islamic finance assets. This demonstrates the undeniable robustness and resilience of Qatar’s Islamic banking sector. Additionally, in 2018, the Qatar Stock Exchange listed the world’s largest single-country Islamic exchange-traded fund. All of this points to Qatar’s prominent position as an international and regional hub for Islamic Finance.

It follows then that the upcoming 5th Doha Islamic Finance Conference will provide an incredibly valuable platform to discuss not only the impact of the digital world on Islamic Finance, but also the role it will inevitably play in realising sustainable development. The Qatar National Vision 2030 of course emphasises both digitalisation of the economy, as well as sustainable development – both of which the QFC is truly committed to developing. As you are aware, Islamic Finance is a key area of focus for the QFC, and is included as one of our main target industries in our recently-announced strategy.

We are confident that this conference will address this vital topic by bringing together some of the best minds in the Islamic Finance industry, from academia and also from business, and we look forward to the thought-provoking discussions that will surely result from this.

Thank you