Chancellor seeks to deepen historic ties between Britain and the Muslim World

12 Jun 2006

The Rt. Hon Gordon Brown MP, Chancellor of the Exchequer will seek to deepen historic ties between the UK and Muslim countries during his keynote speech at the Islamic Finance and Trade Conference that opens tomorrow morning to a full capacity audience.

The Muslim Council of Britain has launched this major new initiative to showcase the UK as the gateway for trade with Muslim countries and to promote London as a key centre for Islamic Finance.

The Islamic Finance and Trade Conference, which will be held on 13 and 14 June, will highlight the excellence and innovation in the field of Islamic Finance and the myriad of opportunities for trade with Muslim countries.

`We believe that this event is more than just an opportunity to consolidate better trading relationships between the UK and Muslim countries. It is a demonstration of an alternative model of interaction and exchange between Muslim and non-Muslim countries. We all know that the current climate of tension calls for an alternative approach, one that promotes peace and dialogue, and the trade and financial markets are an ideal platform for this’, said Dr Abdul Bari, Secretary General of the Muslim Council of Britain.

Other key speakers at the event include: President of Islamic Development Bank (IDB), Dr Ahmad Mohamed Ali and the Chair of the Financial Services Authority (FSA), Sir Callum McCarthy. The Rt. Hon Jack Straw MP, Leader of the House, will deliver the closing speech at the end of the conference on Wednesday 14 June. The Mayor of London, Ken Livingstone will be the keynote speaker at the conference Gala Dinner on Tuesday 13 June.

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For press enquiries please contact:

Shenaz Yusuf, Press Officer
Tel: 07762 791 714 or 020 8432 0585/6

Sher Khan, Project Director
Tel: 07005 961 422

Notes to Editors:

1. For information on the event and booking please contact:
Event Managers
Tel: 0845 222 2525
Fax: 0845 222 2626, Email: tradeconference@mcb.org.uk

2. The conference programme can be viewed at: www.iftc.uk.com

3. The main conference venue is:
Renaissance Chancery Court Hotel
252 High Holborn
London WC1V 7EN

4. Conference organisers have arranged for a pooled photographer.

5. This event will be attended by Secretaries of State, Finance and Trade Ministers, Islamic Scholars, senior managers of international banks and other banking professionals, as well as business leaders. Part of the conference will be held in the Houses of Parliament.

6. There are over 550 Islamic financial institutions world-wide, with assets of more than US$500 billion and with an annual growth rate of around 10%. Many Western conventional banks have launched, or will soon launch, their own Islamic banking products. Examples of UK retail banks with Islamic products are HSBC and Lloyds TSB Bank plc.

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