Islamic finance, which is a key economic pillar of Qatar, has been witnessing an “unprecedented” expansion and the assets within the sector saw a compounded annual growth of 8% since 2015 to reach $129bn in the first half of 2019, according to HE Minister of Commerce and Industry Ali bin Ahmed al-Kuwari.
The Islamic financial assets constitute 33% of Qatar’s total financial system assets, he told the sixth Doha Islamic Finance forum, organised by Bait Al Mashura Financial Consultants.
He said Islamic banks in Qatar are actively continuing their work to take advantage of this technology to develop and expand their activities and enhance their capabilities to compete in global financial markets and improve their mechanisms for cross-border transactions, besides developing money market products and sukuk and support in financing infrastructure projects.
The financial sector in general and Islamic finance in particular remains one of the main pillars of the national economy as the country further strengthens its economic diversification strategy.
A recent report from Oxford Business Group found that growth prospects of Qatar’s Islamic financial services sector are closely tied to the “continued expansion” of the country’s economy, which is expected to “remain buoyant” as its natural gas exports persist.
Highlighting that Qatar was able to take advantage of all its available resources and direct all its efforts in diversifying its economy, the minister discussed about the promising opportunities that are still available within many promising industries and booming sectors, particularly the Islamic finance sector.
In early 2019, a total of four Islamic banks were licensed by the Qatar Central Bank, between them accounting for around 25% of Qatar’s banking sector assets, according to the Ministry of Finance.
Jassim bin Rashid al-Buainain, secretary general of Qatar Olympic Committee, said Doha seeks to become a global capital for sports and that the country’s investment in sports also contributed to the promotion of Qatar, where many international clubs such as Bayern Munich and Paris Saint Germain hold training camps at the Aspire Zone that includes 15 soccer fields, a running track of 14km long, a gymnasium, and Khalifa Stadium that accommodates 50,000 spectators, in addition to the sports dome, which is considered the largest multi-purpose hall in the world with 13 stadiums.
Barwa Bank group chairman and managing director Sheikh Mohamed bin Hamad bin Jassim al-Thani stressed on the role of Islamic financing tools in raising the efficiency of global markets.
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