Saudi Arabia is the largest incubator of Islamic finance in the world in terms of assets, ranking first with a total of nearly SAR3 trillion ($800 billion) that represents 28% of the total global assets, confirmed Ziad al-Yousef, Deputy Governor for Development and Technology at the Saudi Central Bank (SAMA).
The Saudi Cabinet approving the financial technology strategy would support the sector locally and make the Kingdom a technical center in the ranks of developed countries, reaffirmed al-Yousef.
SAMA is working to support the development of Islamic finance by issuing legislation, publishing data, and holding specialized workshops, in addition to cooperating with the Financial Academy to launch professional certificates to enhance specialized cadres in this field, clarified al-Yousef.
He added that open banking will contribute to enhancing innovation, increasing competitiveness and raising the level of financial inclusion, in addition to increasing the efficiency of the banking system, developing the digital economy, and enabling financial institutions to support the growth of the private sector by opening the way for new service providers.
In light of the Kingdom’s leading position and as the world's largest holder of Islamic financial assets and as part of its mission to fulfill the Vision 2030 objectives of creating a thriving economy and an ambitious nation, the Financial Sector Development Program (FSDP) launched a “Global Award for Islamic Finance.”
The award aims to inspire and motivate individuals and institutions to advance the Islamic finance industry.
On this occasion, Minister of Finance and Chair of the Financial Sector Development Program Committee Mohammed Al-Jadaan, stated that the launch of this award, which coincides with the Financial Sector Conference Talks 2 (FSC Talks 2), preluding the Second Edition of the Financial Sector Conference, set to be held in March 2023, aims to achieve the following objectives: promoting the Islamic finance industry and enhancing its lofty and noble values; contributing thereby to achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Additionally, it seeks to promote excellence, innovations, scientific research, and initiatives in Islamic Finance, recognize creative accomplishments and raise awareness of the Islamic finance industry.
Moreover, it strengthens Saudi Arabia's pioneering role in this industry, which aims to transform the Kingdom into a global Islamic finance hub by 2030.
The award’s categories include the following five competition tracks: The Islamic Waqf (for institutions), Islamic Finance Technology (for institutions and individuals), Sustainable Islamic Investment (for institutions), Islamic Banking (for institutions), and Research Contributions and Scientific Papers (for institutions and individuals).