Islamic Finance as part of the post COVID- 19 response

The Islamic finance industry slowed down significantly in 2020 after experiencing a very strong 13% growth rate in 2019. Islamic financial institutions spent most of the year coping with the shock of adjusting to the COVID-19 pandemic. Total Islamic finance assets stood at $2.88 trillion by the end of 2020, matching previous year’s figures. But there is light at the end of the tunnel. Growth is expected to bounce back and total sharia-compliant assets are predicted to reach $3.69 trillion by 2024. The $2.88 trillion Islamic finance industry—with over 1,400 institutions spread across 80 countries—faces unprecedented challenges driven by the global COVID-19 pandemic. 

The Mediterranean region in particular, may take the opportunity to gain the momentum of this global trend. Islamic finance, with its primary objective being the promotion of economic prosperity and human welfare, may play a vital role for furthering economic development and fostering prosperity in the Mediterranean and the African region. For the industry, this period of stagnation was in fact, an opportunity to work on modernising Islamic finance either through standardisation of sharia-compliant offerings or by fast-tracking innovation.

The 6th Mediterranean Islamic Finance Forum will hold and host a large audience of industry leaders seeking the high-growth prospects of Islamic finance across the Mediterranean, Europe, the Middle East and Africa. The Meda Islamic Finance is the only gathering of Islamic Finance and Banking in the Mediterranean region that takes place on a biannual basis.  In this 6th edition, the Forum will examine the financial Islamic sector in the post COVID-19 period. It will also offer a unique networking opportunity for regulators, industry practitioners, business leaders and Sharia scholars to share their views and experiences, create opportunities and strengthen this industry.

The Forum will focus on the opportunities presented by the growth of Islamic banking, finance and investment industry in the Mediterranean region and beyond in an ethical and sustainable manner. A series of engaging keynotes, interviews and panels will explore how Islamic finance can be a part of the COVID-19 response and become more closely interlinked. As well as how Sharia compliant financial institutions and asset can play a greater role towards the achievement of Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), including the alleviation of poverty and the redistribution of resources.

The growth of Islamic fintech start-ups that now offer digital mortgage platforms, wealth management mobile applications and sharia-compliant crypto-currency exchanges, will also be examined. Another relevant topic will be how the Islamic finance industry can, throughout effective guidance and funding will help to facilitate the development of key strategic sectors, including education, healthcare, housing and agriculture, and become an opportunity to make progress on developing uniform standards and regulations.

18th November 2021

10:00 – 11:30

Mediterranean Islamic Finance Forum

Opening session

Speaker confirmed

Ayman Sejiny | Chief Executive Officer, Islamic Corporation for the Development of the Private Sector (ICD)


Session: Leveraging on Islamic Finance for the Development of the Mediterranean Economy

Key points for discussion:

  • How can Islamic finance be part of the COVID-19 response?
  • Opportunities and challenges for Islamic finance in the Mediterranean region
  • The future of Islamic finance
  • Drivers and opportunities of Islamic Finance
  • Evolutions and performance of Islamic Finance
  • Response from Mediterranean Financial Institutions towards the achievement of SDGs
  • Has the Islamic finance industry kept pace or are they lagging behind their conventional counterparts in the implementation of these directives?
  • In which of the SDGs should the Islamic Finance focus on?


Dr. Muhammad Bilal | Research Economist of CIBAFI

Speakers confirmed

Nabil Kesraoui | Directeur Général, Zitouna Tamkeen, Tunisia

Iyad Asali | General Manager, Islamic International Arab Bank PLC, Jordan

Dr. Bridget Kustin | Research Fellow at Saïd Business School, University of Oxford, United Kingdom

Gonzalo Rodríguez | General Coodinator, Saudi-Spanish Center for Islamic Economics and Finance (SCIEF), Spain

Hasan Sami Bayansar| Deputy Chief Executive Officer, Insha Ventures, Turkey

Salvador Illa

Ministry of Health, Government of Spain (Special Guest Speaker)

Enric Mayolas

Consulting Director, World Health Management (Moderator)

Gonzalo Fanjul

Policy Director, Institut Salut Global

Chakib Abouzaid

Secretary General, General Arab Insurance Federation

Co-organised in partnership with:

European Regional Development Fund              A way to make Europe