Senior policy makers from around the world have met in London to discuss cross-border cooperation to boost the global Islamic finance industry.

The annual meeting of the Global Islamic Finance and Investment Group (GIFIG) forms a key part of the UK’s commitment to support the development of the industry globally and ensure that London remains the largest Islamic finance market outside of the Muslim world.

Sharia-compliant finance has seen significant growth over the last decade, with the value of the industry more than doubling between 2008 and 2015 and there are now over 100,000 Islamic finance retail customers in the UK.

The meeting was co-chaired by Mark Field, minister of state for Asia and the Pacific, and Stephen Barclay, economic secretary to the Treasury.

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“The UK is recognised as the leading western centre for Islamic finance, and I want us to play a big part in the future of the sector,” said Mr Barclay.

“London is the most globally connected financial centre, providing a nexus of expertise in financial, professional and supporting services.

“And with our strong links with other outward-looking economies, including those with significant Muslim populations, we are ideally placed to play a central role.”

This year’s meeting of the GIFIG looked at areas where countries with an interest in Islamic finance could work better together to support the development of the industry and discussed the regulatory challenges and synergies between Islamic and other areas of finance.


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