Showcasing the UK as the Gateway for Trade with Muslim Countries

09 Apr 2006

The Muslim Council of Britain has launched a 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 Chancellor of the Exchequer will be lending his support to this endeavour by delivering the keynote speech at the event.

The Islamic Trade and Finance Conference, which will be held on 13 and 14 June 2006, will highlight the excellence and innovation in the field of Islamic finance and the myriad of opportunities for trade with Muslim Countries.

The event is being organised by The Muslim Council of Britain, in cooperation with the Organization of The Islamic Conference (OIC) and the Islamic Development Bank (IDB).

There are over 256 Islamic financial institutions world-wide, with assets of more than US$250 billion and with an annual growth rate of around 15%. Assuming steady growth, the industry will double in size by 2010. Many Western conventional banks have launched, or will soon be launching, their own Islamic banking products. Examples of UK retail banks with Islamic products are HSBC, Citigroup and Lloyds TSB Bank plc.

The event will be attended by Secretaries of State, Finance and Trade Ministers, Islamic Scholars, key figures from international banks, professionals and business leaders. Part of the conference will be held in the Houses of Parliament.

Sir Iqbal Sacranie, Secretary General of the Muslim Council of Britain, said: `This conference will help to demonstrate a positive model of interaction and relationship between the United Kingdom and Muslim countries.

`We all know that the current climate of tension calls out for an alternative approach that promotes peace and constructive dialogue, in place of suspicion and confrontation.’

Pre-registration for the conference can be made through the Muslim Council of Britain’s website at: www.mcb.org.uk

Other Speakers expected at the Conference include:

Prof. Dr., Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu, The Secretary General of the Organisation of Islamic Conference
Dr Khalfan Karbash, Minister of State for Finance & Industry, United Arab Emirates
Shaikh Ebrahim bin Khalifa Al Khalifa, Minister of Finance, Bahrain
Dr Ahmed Mohammed Ali, President, Islamic Development Bank
Dr. Hussain Ali Al-Abdullah, Qatar Investment Authority
Sir Iqbal Sacranie, Secretary General of the Muslim Council of Britain

Sponsors of the event include HSBC and Clifford Chance LLP.

[ENDS]

For press enquiries please contact:
Shenaz Yusuf, Press Officer
Tel: 07762 791 714

Sher Khan, Project Director
Tel: 07005 961 422
For further information please contact: The Muslim Council of Britain, Boardman House, 64 Broadway, Stratford, London E15 1NT. Tel: 020 8432 0585/6, Fax: 0208 432 0587

Email: media@mcb.org.uk Website: http://www.mcb.org.uk
For information on the event and booking please contact:

Event Managers 
Tel: 0845 222 2525
Fax: 0845 222 2626
Email: tradeconference@mcb.org.uk

Notes to Editors 
The Muslim Council of Britain is the UK’s representative Muslim umbrella body with over 400 affiliated national, regional and local organisations, mosques, charities and schools.

The Conference will offer opportunities to: 
Consolidate trading relationships between the United Kingdom and the Muslim World
Cultivate an Islamic investment-friendly environment in the United Kingdom
Understand and Engage with Muslim businesses & Islamic products
Network with Government representatives from UK and Muslim countries, Financial Institutions and Business leaders.