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Bahrain Economic Development Board (BEDB) and the Responsible Finance and Investment (RFI) Foundation is teaming up with several partners from the industry to organize the ”Islamic Finance Innovation Day” forum. The event will take place on December 7.

Its first edition will focus on Islamic Finance and will feature two roundtables: ”Islamic FineTech-Adopting an Innovation Agenda” and ”Human Capital Development: Supporting Sustain Growth and FinTech Innovation”. They both will highlight the importance of Sharia and other Islamic regulations for the growth and innovation of the financial industry. Many university professors, bankers, and government representatives will join the discussion to express their views and exchange opinions.

According to David Parker, the Executive Director, Financial Services at EDB, Bahrain has already achieved a lot in the field of FinTech, but there is still a lot of unleashed potential in the world of Islamic Finance. Over the last forty years, Bahrain has proven itself as an imminent financial center. Furthermore, our Kingdom has the largest concentration of financial institutions and funds registered and domiciled in the GCC region. Bahrain Central Bank issued licenses to over 400 financial institutions, including 80 conventional banks and 25 Sharia-compliant banks. It makes the sector the second largest contributor to GDP (16.5 per cent). Furthermore, the excellent ICT infrastructure across the Kingdom and the well-established platforms for innovation and entrepreneurship has turned Bahrain into a preferred testbed for FinTech investments.

Blake Goud, the CEO of RFI Foundation believes that FinTech solutions can inspire the next level of growth for Islamic Finance. In his view, Islamic FinTech can play an essential role in achieving the UN sustainable development goals.

The organizers chose the timing of the event strategically to coincide with several other related events taking place in Manama during the same time. For instance, the annual World Islamic Banking Conference starts on December 3 and will last for three days. Each year it welcomes hundreds of visitors and numerous Islamic finance industry professionals.