On 5-6 October 2015, University College of Bahrain (UCB) in collaboration with Islamic Research and Training Institute (IRTI) of Islamic Development Bank (IDB) successfully conducted a thematic workshop on macroprudential regulation and policy for Islamic financial industry: theory and application (the MRPIF 2015). Under the patronage of His Excellency Shaikh Dr. Khalid M. Al-Khalifa, Chairman of Board of Trustee of UCB, the workshop was the first and foremost IRTI-IDB thematic workshop which had been
The paper presenters came from various countries such as the UK, Japan, Russia, Singapore, Malaysia, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Iran, Indonesia, Saudi Arabia and the host country Kingdom of Bahrain. In addition to the research paper based presenters, some representatives of the regulators of Islamic financial institutions (IFIs) such as Central Bank of Bahrain (CBB), Bank Indonesia (BI), Bank Negara Malaysia (BNM) and State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) shared their thoughts and experience on the application of macroprudential regulation and policy at their respective countries at the panel session of the workshop. The panel session was also blessed by the presence of Dr. Sherif Elsayed Ayoud, Assistant Secretary General of the Islamic financial services board (IFSB), a standard setting body within Islamic financial industry and Prof. Dr Abdul Ghafar Ismail, Head of Research, IRTI-IDB as the speakers.
Dr. Sutan Emir Hidayat, chairman of the organizing committee mentioned in his welcoming remarks that the prime objective of this workshop was to bring together experts in Islamic banking, regulation, and financial economics to take stock of current academic and policy research on theory, methodology and application of macroprudential regulation and policy in Islamic financial industry. In addition, the workshop was also intended to strengthen Kingdom of Bahrain’s position as one of the hubs for Islamic financial industry. Last year, Kingdom of Bahrain was ranked number 2 by Thomson Reuters as the world’s Islamic financial hub after Malaysia. One of the aspects where Bahrain is still lacking behind Malaysia is in the area of academic research. Therefore, UCB, as one of the higher learning institutions and the first that offers Islamic finance programs in the kingdom took the initiative to co-host this academic workshop with IRTI-IDB in order to reduce the gap.
In the first opening address, Dr. Turki Bani Khalid, Acting President of UCB thanked IRTI-IDB for their generosity in sponsoring the distinguished presenters and stressed on UCB’s commitment towards research activities. As an evidence, UCB always allocates more than 3% of its annual revenues for sponsoring research activities which is higher than the requirements of Higher Education Council, Bahrain. In the second opening address, Prof. Dr. Abdul Ghafar Ismail of IRTI thanked UCB top management for successfully co-hosting the workshop with IRTI-IDB. Prof. Abdul Ghafar believes that the gathering of scholars at the workshop will be able to come out with several recommendations to enhance the application of macroprudential regulation and policy for Islamic financial industry. His belief has been proven to be true since at the end of the workshop 17 recommendations have been made as a result of 2-days discussion. Prof. Abdul Ghafar also mentioned that the 17 accepted papers will have a chance to be published by Springer in an edited book subject to another review by the renowned publisher.