News article

UK – Kazakhstan cooperation in Islamic Finance

This world location news article was published under the 2010 to 2015 Conservative and Liberal Democrat coalition government

A group of senior Kazakh state officials will visit London on 26-28 February 2014

The representatives of the National Bank of Kazakhstan, Ministry of Finance, Ministry of Industry and New Technologies along with other senior public servants will make a three-day trip to the UK in order to establish partnership between Britain and Kazakhstan in the sector of Islamic Finance and learn the UK advanced experience as the first-ever Western centre for Islamic Finance.

Yerlan Baidaulet, Chairman of Association of Development of Islamic Finance in Kazakhstan, shared his views on the upcoming visit: > First of all I would like to express my gratitude to the British Government and the staff of the British Embassy Astana for organizing this visit. We’ve had a lot of positive emotions, opinions and ideas after the November trip to the 9th World Islamic Economic Forum in London. > > The essence of Islamic finance is primarily the support to the real economy. In times of crisis economic processes, it is clear that the mechanism used by Islamic financial institutions, allows transferring the country’s economy through its financial instruments on the rails of healthy real economy, serving the interests of the population. We take very seriously preparing for an upcoming trip to London, and we hope that this visit will allow us to solve a lot of issues on the basis of a positive example of the UK and the City of London. We express our hope that this trip will not be the only one, and will grow into a long-term cooperation between the two countries in the field of Islamic finance.

During the three-day trip the representatives of the Kazakh governmental bodies will be able to meet with their British counterparts from HM Revenue & Customs, HM Treasury, Bank of England and other British public & private bodies. The meetings will be held in the form of roundtables where the delegates from Kazakhstan will outline the national position on Islamic Finance and the increasing need in its development. The British side will share their experience and best practices in the development of Islamic Finance regulation and promotion of London as a hub.

The British Ambassador to Kazakhstan, Dr Carolyn Browne said about this visit: > Islamic finance is one of the fastest growing of all financial sectors – and one which has huge potential to grow further. A quarter of the world’s population is Muslim. And yet only 1% of global financial assets are sharia-compliant. Across the Middle East, roughly one in five adults does not even have a bank account. So the potential for Islamic finance to mobilise investment and to change the lives of ordinary people is clear. That is why the UK announced last year its ambition to be the unrivalled Western centre for Islamic finance. Later this year, the UK Government will issue an Islamic bond – the first ever country outside the Islamic world to do so. > > We in the British Embassy in Astana are delighted to support this visit by senior Kazakh officials to London in order to discuss ways in which Kazakhstan might use sharia-compliant instruments as part of the country’s long-term development strategy, “Kazakhstan 2050”. The City of London is the centre for global finance. There is an unrivalled range of expertise and experience there, including on Islamic finance, which we’re keen to share with our Kazakh partners. In 2013 the first ever meeting outside the Islamic world of the World Islamic Economic Forum took place in London. And later this year, the Lord Mayor of the City of London will visit Kazakhstan in order to promote the range of financial services the UK can offer. So I can’t think of a better time for our two countries to explore in detail the potential benefits which Islamic financing can offer. > > I wish a successful visit to all participants!

Notes for Editors:

For more information on this visit, please contact Elvira.Yausheva@fco.gov.uk, +7 7172 55 62 17.