Using Islamic finance for infrastructure development attracted more attention recently in the quest to maximize finance for development.
At the recent World Bank-IMF Annual Meetings in Bali, the World Bank and the Islamic Development Bank (IsDB) co-hosted a symposium on Islamic infrastructure finance, building on the institutions’ strategic partnership. As we note in Mobilizing Islamic Finance for Infrastructure Public-Private Partnerships, the asset-backed, ring-fenced, and project-specific nature of Islamic finance structures and their emphasis on sharing risks make them a natural fit for infrastructure public-private partnerships (PPPs).
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Two years in the making, last week the Islamic Development Bank Group (IsDBG) and the World Bank Group officially launched the landmark report Mobilizing Islamic Finance for Infrastructure Public-Private Partnerships at a discussion broadcast online from Washington, D.C. We illustrated that, through partnerships, the power of Islamic finance can be instrumental in unlocking financial resources necessary to meet the tremendous demand for critical infrastructure.
In fact, infrastructure PPPs funded with Islamic finance have proliferated in the Middle East, and have flourished in other countries throughout Africa and Asia. Both of our institutions are committed to leverage our competitive advantages, achieve effective interventions, and yield measurable results in scaling up and broadening the use of Islamic finance.
Photo: Artit Wongpradu / Shutterstock.com
Islamic finance has been growing rapidly across the globe. According to a recent report by the Islamic Financial Services Board, the Islamic finance market currently stands around $1.9 trillion. With this growth, its application has been extended into many areas — trade, real estate, manufacturing, banking, infrastructure, and more.
However, Islamic finance is still a relatively untapped market for public-private partnership (PPP) financing, which makes the recent publication Mobilizing Islamic Finance for Infrastructure Public-Private Partnerships such an important resource, especially for governments and practitioners.
Photo: Artit Wongpradu / Shutterstock.com
شهد التمويل الإسلامي نموا سريعا في جميع أنحاء العالم. ووفقا لتقرير صدر مؤخرا عن مجلس الخدمات المالية الإسلامية، فإن سوق التمويل الإسلامي يبلغ حجمها حاليا حوالي 1.9 تريليون دولار. مع هذا النمو، تم توسيع تطبيقه في العديد من المجالات -التجارة والعقارات والتصنيع والخدمات المصرفية والبنية التحتية، وغير ذلك كثير.
ومع ذلك، لا يزال التمويل الإسلامي سوقا غير مستغل نسبيا لتمويل الشراكة بين القطاعين العام والخاص، مما يجعل التقرير الصادر حديثا بعنوان تعبئة التمويل الإسلامي لشراكات البنية التحتية بين القطاعين العام والخاص مصدرا مهما، وخاصة للحكومات والممارسين.
“Proceeding from the Islamic Development Bank’s interest, as well as my personal concerns about what benefits the Member Countries, where the subject of partnerships between the public and private sectors (PPPs) has become a major hub in fostering development in several sectors in many countries, I have initiated a forum to address the most significant issues and topics related to the importance of partnerships between the public and private sectors, in addition to the optimal means to activate them and benefit from their acclaimed development role."
– Dr. Bandar Mohammed Al-Hajjar, President, Islamic Development Bank
The first Islamic Development Bank (IsDB) Public-Private Partnership (PPP) Forum took place in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia in March 2017, which I attended as a guest moderator and panelist. The IsDB organized the Forum to support its communication with its member countries by initiating a debate that would introduce forum participants to opportunities and challenges that PPPs present in various countries and various sectors.
Islamic finance assets represent only around 1% of the global financial market, so how can tapping into these funds help close the $452 billion annual infrastructure finance gap in Emerging Markets and Developing Economies? The percentage may be small now, but the Islamic finance market is growing at an impressive pace—and not just in Muslim-majority countries.