WIEF-UEF Chennai Roundtable 2018 focused on innovative financing for business and investment opportunities in Tamil Nadu


Nov  10th

WIEF-UEF Chennai Roundtable 2018 focused on innovative financing for business and investment opportunities in Tamil Nadu

Shri. O. Panneerselvam, Hon. Deputy Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu launched the WIEF-UEF Roundtable 2018 and Shri. M.C. Sampath, Hon. Minister for Industries, Tamil Nadu, delivered the keynote address

Chennai, India: United Economic Forum (UEF) Chamber of Commerce and World Islamic Economic Forum (WIEF) Foundation jointly organised the Roundtable to address ‘Innovative and Alternative Finance for Business and Infrastructure Development in India’. Shri. O. Panneerselvam, Hon. Deputy Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu launched the WIEF-UEF Chennai Roundtable 2018 and Shri. M.C. Sampath, Hon. Minister for Industries, Tamil Nadu delivered the keynote address. Mr. Ahmed Buhari, President, UEF Chamber of Commerce and Tun Musa Hitam, Chairman, WIEF Foundation represented UEF and WIEF respectively at the Opening that took place at the ITC Grand Chola Hotel.

‘We are extremely pleased the Chennai roundtable was a huge success”, said Mr. Ahmed Buhari, President, UEF Chamber of Commerce.

‘This is the first time we have brought the roundtable to Chennai and are really fortunate to tie up with the World Islamic Economic Foundation Forum (WIEF) Foundation. This platform gives us the opportunity to reach out to as many people as possible and create awareness on Shariah compliant finance. We hope to assist and build an ecosystem which will benefit the Indian community ,’ added Mr. Buhari.

‘The global financial crisis has led many governments to look for innovative and alternative form of financing for business and infrastructure development. Shariah compliant finance is being seen as more stable when compared to the conventional banking system, and therefore more appealing to borrowers,’ said Tun Musa Hitam, Chairman, WIEF Foundation.

‘Even the IMF acknowledged that the growth of alternative finance presents important opportunities to strengthen financial inclusion, deepen financial markets, and mobilise funding for development by offering new modes of finance and attracting unbanked populations that have not participated the financial system,’ added Tun Musa Hitam.

The Roundtable comprised 4 sessions that were moderated by experts from the finance and banking sectors.

The first session explored Shariah Compliant Investment Opportunities for Investments in India from Across the Globe. Experts in Islamic finance, Raja Teh Maimunah Raja Abdul Aziz, Managing Director, Wholesale Banking, AmBank Group, Malaysia, Professor Dr Ashraf bin Md Hashim, Chief Executive Officer, ISRA Consultancy Sdn Bhd, Malaysia, Dr. Mohamed Damak, Global Head of Islamic Finance, S&P Global Ratings, France and Abdelilah Belatik, Secretary General, General Council for Islamic Banks and Financial Institutions, Bahrain, discussed options that could be made available to global investors in India, the types of shariah-compliant products to help support the development of local housing and transportation industry, and how to make shariah compliant investments subject to existing foreign exchange and tax regulations in India. The panel discussion was moderated by Mohamed Rafe Mohamed Haneef, Chief Executive Officer, CIMB Islamic Bank Berhad, Malaysia.

The second session was on Mobilising Innovative Financing for Infrastructure, Manufacturing and Real Estate. The session was moderated by Prof Dato’ Dr. Azim Omar, President and CEO, International Centre for Education and Islamic Finance (INCEIF), Malaysia. Panellists, Irman Boyle, Executive Vice President, Head of Advisory Group, Indonesia Infrastructure Finance, Indonesia, Hamid Rashid, Founder, Finterra Pte Ltd, Singapore and S. Krishnan, I.A.S., Principal Secretary, Housing and Urban Development Department, Government of Tamil Nadu,

explored how interest free financing can be used for infrastructure projects in Tamil Nadu, the challenges and opportunities of interest free financing for infrastructure, manufacturing as well as real estate, and how to  contribute to the development of real estate projects.

The third session was moderated by Raja Teh Maimunah Raja Abdul Aziz, Managing Director, Wholesale Banking, AmBank Group, Malaysia. The panel discussion on Islamic Finance in Non-Muslim Countries:  Learnings from Abroad comprised panellists, Mohamed Thowfeek Mohamed Azmeer, Chief Executive Officer, Amana Bank, Sri Lanka, Alberto G. Brugnoni, Founder and Managing Partner, Association for the  Development of Alternative Instruments and Innovative Finance (ASSAIF), Italy, H. Abdur Raqeeb, General Secretary, Indian Centre of Islamic Finance, India and Asad Ansari, Co-Founder and Chairman, Amanah Islamic Finance, Australia. The session saw a robust discussion on the development and possible prospects for Islamic finance in non-Muslim nations, the breakthroughs, issues and challenges facing Islamic finance in countries such as UK, France, Japan, Korea and Sri Lanka and the driving factors that have attributed to the rise of Islamic finance in non-Muslim countries.

The final session for the day was moderated by Dr. Shariq Nisar, Prof. Rizvi Institute of Management Studies and Research, India. K. Gnanadesikan, IAS, Additional Chief Secretary, Government of Tamil Nadu, K.A. Najmi, Partner, Legal Link India Law Services, India, Sherif Kottapurath, Managing Partner, Mount Judi Ventures LLP, , India and Dr. Rahmatullah Abdul Ahad, Managing Director, Janaseva Co-operative Credit Society Ltd., India, discussed Investment Opportunities in India and Tamil Nadu, which covered innovations and business opportunities available in Tamil Nadu, the areas of interest for foreign investments and the government policies and economic incentives for investors.

  1. Rahman Khan, M.P, Former Union Minister of Minority Affairs, Government of India, addressed the audience at the Closing Ceremony .


About the World Islamic Economic Forum (WIEF) Foundation

The WIEF Foundation is a non-profit organisation that is based in Kuala Lumpur. It organises the annual World Islamic Economic Forum, an international business platform which showcase business opportunities and runs programmes of the Foundation’s various initiatives. The WIEF was previously held in Malaysia, Kazakhstan, Indonesia, Kuwait, Pakistan, the United Kingdom and United Arab Emirates. It’s objective is to strengthen the ties of the Muslim and non-Muslim communities through the common language of business across the globe


About United Economic Forum (UEF) Chamber of Commerce

United Economic Forum (UEF) was founded in the year 1979, by Alhaj BS Abdur Rahman, to improve the Socio-Economic status of backward communities in India, through Education and Entrepreneurship. It has become a Chamber of Commerce since 6 December 2016 and since then it has taken upon itself facilitating achieving of an ambitious target of $20 billion of Economic enhancement for its members through business activities, Islamic funding, Sovereign Wealth Funds, Private equity, Government Schemes, Bank Finance etc.by 2030. Towards this objective, it has successfully conducted two biennial Trade Summits in 2015 and 2017, modelled on WIEF annual business Summits, wherein thought leaders across the world has participated and thousands of Indian delegates have been benefitted, several thousand Crores worth MOUs have been signed.


This is for the First time, a WIEF Roundtable is being held in India and at Chennai. The Roundtable is held in Collaboration with UEF.


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