The Premier, the Hon. L. Craig Cannonier, JP, MP, hailed his attendance at the Global Islamic Finance and Investment Group (GIFIG), to be ‘very encouraging for Bermuda’, as the Island was further positioned as a viable option for Islamic Finance. The objective of the GIFIG conference was to identify key global opportunities and barriers facing Islamic Finance and to utilize the Group’s extensive knowledge and expertise to create a global Islamic Finance market that supports growth and prosperity.
The Premier commented: “Building on the speech and subsequent contacts that were made at the World Islamic Economic Forum (WIFE) held in London in October 2013, where Bermuda was the only country invited to speak from the UK Overseas Territories, this particular trip gave us another strategic opportunity to address the group of UK and Middle East stakeholders and practitioners of various financial industries about the benefits of investing in Bermuda – a message that I believe was well received.
“I let them know that Bermuda is committed to becoming a viable option for Islamic Finance. I also advised them that we have further opened our doors to foreign investment from around the World inclusive of the Islamic countries, both in terms of establishing international financial entities and in terms of foreign direct investment in our various infrastructure projects.”
The Premier further told the Conference attendees that the entire World should support the integration of Islamic law-compliant (Sharia) financial instruments into the global financial system as these instruments, as a requirement of Islamic law, are based on social responsibility, ethical objectives and social equity and that he hoped the UK and the Islamic countries that are members of the G20 will lead the World in those global arenas discussing the global financial system.
The Premier concluded “the next steps for Bermuda will be to document our value propositions and invite the various Islamic Finance stakeholders to the Island to see our potential first-hand.”
Accompanying the Premier were the Minister of Finance, the Hon. E. T. ‘Bob’ Richards, the Secretary to the Cabinet, Dr. Derrick Binns and Assistant Financial Secretary, Mr. Wayne Brown. Participants at the Conference included heads of Islamic Central Banks from Kuwait, Libya, Malaysia, Bahrain, Oman, Saudi Arabia and the UAE.