KARACHI: Pakistan’s Islamic Banking deposits are expected to reach Rs 4 trillion by 2020 attaining a market share of 20 percent of the local banking sector.

Speaking at the inaugural session of “Workshop on Islamic Finance for Media Professionals”, Ahmed Ali Siddiqui, Director IBA’s Centre for Excellence in Islamic Finance (CEIF), said that with all financial solutions worldwide Islamic banking was growing rapidly.

The special capacity building workshop on Islamic Finance for media professionals was organised by IBA-CEIF on Tuesday at the IBA City Campus in collaboration with Meezan Bank & Centre for Excellence in Journalism (CEJ). The workshop was aimed at providing insight about Islamic banking concepts, local and international growth trends plus to answer any misconceptions and myths present.

Siddique welcomed the participants and highlighted the steps taken by the Centre to promote academic research and industry’s capacity building initiatives. Sharing the latest growth trends on the Islamic Finance landscape, he highlighted that overall size of the world Islamic industry was estimated at $1.88 trillion and expected to rise to $3.2 trillion by 2020.

He also highlighted that Islamic banks can play a significant role in financing the upcoming CPEC infrastructure projects as they have the required capacity and liquidity.

Moreover, Siddique said that the government can also easily convert a significant portion of its interest-based borrowing by year end to Islamic modes using Sukuk and other innovative structures provided the right support and push is in place from the Government.

He informed that the Centre for Excellence in Islamic Finance has been established at IBA with the objective of providing a platform for discovery, enhancement and dissemination of knowledge in the field of Islamic Finance. It aims to be a world class Centre which, through education and research, carries on the IBA IB’s legacy of thought leadership in the Islamic Finance industry, he informed.

During the session, Mufti Irshad Ahmad Aijaz elaborated on the current position of development in Islamic Finance in Pakistan, and the challenges faced by Islamic Banks in Pakistan. He also elaborated that how the growth of industry was necessary beyond 20 percent to be considered as sizable. Mufit Irshad also explained Islamic Banking procedure and profit and loss system.

Dr. Zeeshan Ahmed talked about the types of Islamic Finance products generally used in Pakistan, along with concepts behind it and talked on the basic concepts of the Islamic banking.

The programme concluded with closing remarks from Mahmood Shafqat Mufti, Additional Director State Bank of Pakistan (SBP), who emphasized the role of SBP for creating awareness for the growth of the industry. He said that SBP has always facilitated Islamic Banking Industry to grow well.

Shafqat informed that at present some 22 Islamic Banking institutions were working in the country with some 2,100 branches.

The participants were informed that IBA-CEIF was also hosting the First World Islamic Finance Forum, an international academic and industry conference being held in Karachi in the first week of September 2016, to develop future roadmap and strategy for the growth of Islamic finance.