Global Forum on Islamic Finance 2013

Comments of International Guests


Prof. Dr. Volker Nienhaus, Germany

Pakistan was one of the pioneers of Islamic economics and finance in the last century. It is very encouraging to see that COMSATS Institute of Information Technology as a dynamic academic institution with a wide outreach has committed itself to reinvigorate this tradition. The GFIF 2013 provided a comprehensive survey of the different branches of Islamic finance and its regulatory framework. It flagged a wide range of topics and methods of research in this field, and it was a prolific meeting place for academics and practitioners from Pakistan and abroad. The culminating point of the GFIF 2013 was the announcement of the establishment of an Institute of Islamic Finance at CIIT. This institute will combine research, teaching and training with academic rigour and practical relevance. With its wide networks and international strategic links, the CIIT Institute of Islamic Finance has the potential to bring Pakistan back to the centre of the academic discourse on Islamic finance. But it has also the potential to bring together academics and practitioners with expertise in finance and in economics development plus representatives of the proactive State Bank of Pakistan to come forward with financial innovations to push Islamic finance to the next level: The real challenge is not the Shari’ah compliant emulation of commercial banking but the support of economic development on a wide scale. There is a need of innovative tools and concepts for the financing of large infrastructure projects in an undercapitalized economy, for the support of financial inclusion through microfinance, for seed financing for projects of people with entrepreneurial talents but insufficient collateral through ‘micro-equity’ or crowdfunding, for the financing of the further expansion of successful SMEs or rural cooperatives, etc. The CIIT Institute of Islamic Finance will have all the ingredients for conceptual and applied research in these areas as well as also for the dissemination of new ideas through academic teaching and for support of their implementation through training programmes.




Dr. Wafica Ghoul
Finance Department,
Lebanese International University, Beirut Lebanon

The conference was a great success, it was really a meeting of some of the greatest and the best experts in Islamic finance including academics, regulators, as well as practitioners, from the World Bank, The Islamic Development Bank, IRTI, INCEIF, Central Banks, NGO’s, as well as universities in the USA, UK, Malaysia, Germany, Italy, Pakistan, Kazakistan, Bangladesh, to mention just a few.

The speakers at the conference were treated with the great hospitality and generosity that is typical of the Pakistani culture; in fact there was no time to listen to the news with "around the clock" activities during the conference and in the hours after the presentations.

I have made a lot of new professional contacts at GFIF 2013, which I hope will lead to a very fruitful relationship between COMSATS and Lebanon.




Waheed Qaiser
President & Vice Chairman
Maxim Corporate Finance LLP, UK

Thank you for organising a wonderful & well-attended stimulating forum that had wide range of topics and brought together excellent speakers. I express my heartfelt gratitude to you and your team for organizing such a successful forum. I must thank you for the opportunity to participate in the ground-breaking forum that had some good ideas and also exemplary hospitality. It’s a privilege of meeting and sharing with so many distinguished and interesting professionals from all over the World.




Dr Ahmed T Al Ajlouni
Faculty Member of Finance & Banking - Economics & Finance Department.
College of Business and Economics - Qassim University
Kingdom of Saudi Arabia

Let me first thank all the COMSATS people through you for the honest welcoming and generous hospitality which I experienced during the GFIF 2013. Although it was my first visit to Pakistan, I generated a very positive perception about this great country and its people.

Event organization was outstanding during and thereafter the event. Most of the speakers were very good, diversified, and they added value to the event.

Looking forward to build a sustainable cooperation with your esteemed institution.




Samir Alamad
Senior Manager, Sharia Compliance & Product Development
Islamic Bank of Britain PLC, Birmingham

I had a great experience as a speaker in the Global Forum on Islamic Finance (GFIF) March 11-13, 2013 in Pearl Continental Hotel Lahore, Pakistan. The GFIF has covered key topics regarding Islamic finance, that would most definitely help the industry grow and move forward in the right direction.

I would like to thank COMSATS Institute of Information Technology Lahore for the well organization of the conference, their hospitability and making my first visit to Pakistan a memorable one.




Dr.Abul Hassan
The Markfield Institute of Higher Education,
Gloucestershire University, UK

I came back safely in UK. It was an excellent Global Islamic Finance Forum organised by your University, the COMSTATS Lahore Chapter with good mixture of participants of different nationalities and professional background. Also I found that forum attracted regulators and market players from the Islamic finance industry of Pakistan. The forum gave me an excellent opportunity to exchange ideas and discuss best practices with the industry and within specific niche.

As I have seen that all overseas participants were extended high class hospitality with great care to us by the team members of the Department of the Management Science. I must appreciate their excellent hospitality and behaviour. Really I am very much impressed.

I think this type of forum will really bring Islamic finance to the front, if not yet the centre, of the stage.

Very many thanks to the Higher Authority of the COMSATS and all the members of your team.




Kent Matthews
Sir Julian Hodge Professor of Banking& Finance
Cardiff Business School, UK

I can say with clear conviction that I enjoyed the conference. The quality of the keynote lectures, other presentations and papers was excellent and informative and I took away much information for my chapter on Islamic Banking for the third edition of my book with John Thompson, The Economics of Banking (Wiley).




Salma Yousef
Barrister, Lincolns Inn

I was delighted to be part of the first global forum on Islamic finance in Lahore. The forum brought together a cross section of practitioners, philanthropists, researchers, students from all spheres of the Islamic finance arena to share ideas from around the globe thus providing a unique opportunity to learn and network.

The caliber of the speakers was testimony to the fact that Pakistan is clearly one of the key players in the IF field. It was particularly impressive to see the standard of research being undertaken by the students at the university. Credit to Comsats for arranging such an impressive and thought provoking conference.




Dr. Zamir Iqbal
World Bank

I was very pleased by the commitment and dedication of the organizers in making the event a very successful one. I was glad to see that finally, there is some interest developing in Islamic finance in a country like Pakistan which has a long history of experimenting with Islamic banking. The event had participation by globally reputed researchers and professionals which was beneficial for the audience. The event provided a platform to exchange ideas and foster research activities among domestic and international stakeholders. The announcement of establishing a center on Islamic finance is a welcoming development and I am sure that the center will play an important role in promoting research in Islamic finance which will have a global impact.




Monzer Kahf
Islamic Finance and Economics
Prof. & MSc. Prog. Coordinator
Qatar Faculty of Islamic Studies

The conference was a great success. There was a lot of valuable effort put in its preparation and management.

We all know that there is always room for improvement in any human effort. I believe we need more screening of the presentations and stronger scientific criteria of scrutiny. But this is the human nature of all that we do. May Allah reward all those who dedicated their time to make it a good success




Alberto
Via Montebello 14, 20121 Milano

The Global Forum on Islamic Finance 2013 - attended by renowned practitioners and academicians from around the world - has laid the foundations of a Research Center of excellence, soon to be established by COMSATS-Lahore. With this initiative, Pakistan puts itself once again at the forefront of the Islamic finance proposition and takes the lead to address new realities and new challenges




Dr. Kabir Hassan
The University of New Orleans, USA

I really enjoyed my first trip to Pakistan. I commend the COMSATS for organizing this global forum on Islamic finance. The quality of papers was generally good to excellent. The panels were more engaging and informed the audience the current status of Islamic finance. Dr. Ishrat Hussain was just fabulous making very balanced and informative comments about the current status and future opportunities of Islamic finance. I look forward to attending another conference.




Mr. Akmal Hanuk
Chief Executive, Islamic Banking & Finance Centre, UK

On behalf of IBFC - UK and myself, I would like to congratulate COMSATS on organising a very timely and successful conference in Lahore.

It has been a pleasure to be amongst the leading academics, practitioners and Sharia'a scholars and share the latest research and practices by the different financial institutions and professionals.

The debates and panel discussions have been very current, enlightening and thought provoking.

The announcement by the Rector Dr Zaidi to establish a Centre of Excellence in collaboration with IBFC - UK has indeed been a testimony of the vision and commitment of COMSATS to address the growing demand and need of providing quality education and training in Pakistan.

Finally, I would like to express my sincere gratitude to all the members of the organising committee for their kind hospitality, comfort and care extended to all the delegates attending this conference. It was a pleasure to be at this conference and look forward to attend the next one in 2014 insha Allah.