Valencia, 17 Sep 2019 – In the wake of rapid changes in global economy and new challenges facing humanity, there is a need for thinkers and scholars to formulate new thoughts and re-evaluate the existing theories and policies. Effective initiatives are indeed required to address, among others, the widening gap between the rich and poor, disruption due to digital innovation, and rising protectionism.
Against this background, INCEIF, Lahore University of Management Sciences (LUMS), Universitat Jaume I and Universitat de València held a two-day conference centred on the theme `Building New Finance through Inclusion, Sustainability and Ethics’.
The 4th IFBBE (Islamic finance, banking and business ethics) Conference was held at the Universitat de València campus.
Spain was once a majority Muslim country where Islamic way of life such as Waqf institutions flourished and developed, becoming vital for financing the social, economic, and cultural infrastructure of Al-Andalus (the medieval Muslim territory which included most of Iberia, today’s Portugal and Spain). In recent years, parts of Spain’s business sectors have urged the government to facilitate the greater use of Islamic finance in the hope that it would provide an alternative system given the underlying structural problems that continued to plague the Spanish economy.
The conference attracted international participation by academicians, policy makers and practitioners including those from Australia, Italy and host country, Spain. The discussions centred on banking fragility, extreme financial market volatility, climate change and inequality – issues which are threatening the way we live and the future of our planet.
Participants addressed specific issues related to inclusion, sustainability and ethics. In particular, among the issues raised were:
- How to contribute to sustainable transformations of society through socio-economic policies, politics and institutional reforms, and innovation in technology.
- How to promote ethics in business, since a large part of the literature (particularly the Islamic one) seems to be either theologically oriented or superficial and inadequate in its assessment.
- How to enhance financial inclusion through formal and non-formal financial institutions.
- How to address climate change through sustainable and responsible investments.
Five INCEIF faculty members and three alumni presented their papers at the conference. They were:
- Deputy President Academic & Dean Prof Dr Mansor Hj Ibrahim; Restructuring and Bank Performance in A Dual Banking System
- Prof Dr Belal Ehsan Baaquie; Merton’s Equation and the Quantum Oscillator I: Risky Corporate Coupon Bonds
- Prof Dr Zulkarnain Muhamad Sori; ESG Index and Determinants of ESG Disclosures: Evidence From Islamic Financial Institutions (IFIs) In Malaysia
- Prof Dr Saiful Azhar Rosly; An Investigation of Affordable Housing Problems in Malaysia With Special Focus on Social and Responsible Financing From Institutional Investors
- Assoc Prof Dr Baharom Abdul Hamid; Shadow Economy And Tax Burden: Do Institutions Matter?
- Alumna Dr Siti Muawanah Lajis of Bank Negara Malaysia; Risk Sharing Finance as a Catalyst for Financial Inclusion
- Alumnus Dr Syed Aun Raza Rizvi of LUMS; Presence of Islamic Banks in East Asia – Stability vs Fragility Argument
- Alumna Dr Nurrul Liyana Mahmud of Securities Commission Malaysia ; Financial Market Integration and its Risk Sharing Implication in Islamic Countries
Participants also had the opportunity to visit Bolsa de Valencia which is Valencia’s Stock Exchange.
Next year’s conference will be held at LUMS in Pakistan.