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Islamic bank IDB officially launches $500M science #fund

The Islamic Development Bank (IDB) launched a $500 million fund to strengthen science, technology and innovation in the Muslim World. The launch of the fund was made at the IDB's 43rd Annual Meeting in Tunis. The fund had been announced for the first time in Kazakhstan in September 2017, by the IDB President, Dr. Bandar Hajjar. He said 57 IDB member countries face challenges in development and many of them could not solve their problems on their own. He added that the IDB wants to be a catalyst so that people can lead the process of development. Dr. Hayat Sindi, chief scientific adviser to the IDB president, said the bank would like to give every scientist an opportunity to provide solutions to development challenges. She said the aim of the fund was to give a boost to creative minds.

Islamic Development Bank aims to empower women

The Islamic Development Bank (IDB) aims to improve women’s access to infrastructure that will offer economic opportunities through Islamic microfinance. IDB president Bandar Hajjar was speaking at the "Partnerships for Promoting Women’s Economic Empowerment" session at the 43rd annual IDB meeting in Tunis. He said the empowerment of women was at the core of the Bank’s development strategy. He announced that to achieve this, the bank would launch a new initiative called "SheCan". He also stressed the bank continued its regular operations to empower women in priority sectors, such as energy, education, transport, health and Islamic finance. Representatives of 57 member states, senior government officials and ministers of finance, economy, planning and international development are attending the five-day meeting in Tunis.

'#Turkey can play a leading role in Islamic finance'

According to Abdelilah Belatik, secretary-general of the General Council for Islamic Banks and Financial Institutions (CIBAFI), Turkey can play a leading role in Islamic finance. Belatik sees Turkey as a bridge between the Muslim world and the West. He said through Turkey's support Islamic finance was discussed among G20 countries, which was a milestone. Belatik added that Turkey had a key role to play in raising awareness about Islamic finance. CIBAFI expects the volume of the sector to reach $4 trillion by the end of 2020.

Public awareness key to boost Islamic finance in #Turkey

According to the General Council for Islamic Banks and Financial Institutions (CIBAFI), Turkey should raise public awareness of Islamic finance to boost the sector's market share. CIBAFI's secretary general, Abdelilah Belatik, called Turkey's target of raising Islamic banks’ share to 20% by 2023 ambitious but achievable. The council’s annual gathering to discuss Islamic finance will be held in Turkey next April. Belatik said that countries like Turkey and Indonesia and regions such as Central Asia and Africa are important as they have a great growth potential in the Islamic finance sector. Belatik said they work with countries which lack the infrastructure and regulation for Islamic finance to show them its role in the economy. He also underlined Islamic finance's significance for financial stability.

Islamic Development Bank forms $500M science fund

The Islamic Development Bank (IDB) announced it had formed a $500-million fund for scientific research. President Bandar Hajjar said the fund would find solutions to economic adversity using scientific innovations. He was speaking at the 33rd Ministerial Session of the Standing Committee for Economic and Commercial Cooperation (COMCEC) in Istanbul. Hajjar added that the bank had received 100 million Saudi riyals ($26.6 million) as contribution. He also added that to address the issue of youth unemployment a five-year program has been launched to improve cooperation between universities, research centers, non-governmental organizations and government departments.

#Turkish president slams high interest rates

President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said people in Turkey paid some of the world's highest interest rates, something which had to change soon. He said the overnight interest rate reached 7,500 percent after Turkey’s economic crisis of 2001. The Turkish leader suggested adopting the gold standard to combat international pressures. Erdogan also said he had no words on the central bank's independence but said that as a politician he had a responsibility to the public who were being hurt by high rates. Turkey's Borsa Istanbul and the IDB signed a strategic cooperation agreement which aims to expand Islamic finance in Turkey and other IDB member countries. According to the agreement, the IDB will explore opportunities for its strategic stake acquisition from the country's exchange operator, Borsa Istanbul.

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