Dubai, Turkmenistan promote Islamic finance

DUBAI, The Dubai Islamic Economy Development Centre (DIEDC) signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the State Bank for Foreign Economic Affairs of Turkmenistan (TFEB) to exchange knowledge, experience, and best practices in Islamic economy.

The signing ceremony took place during an official high-level Turkmen delegation’s recent visit to the UAE, headed by Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedow, President of Turkmenistan.

Sultan bin Saeed Al Mansouri, UAE Minister of Economy and Chairman of DIEDC, and Rahimberdy Jepbarov, Chairman of TFEB, signed the MoU in the presence of senior officials from both entities.

The MoU aims to establish channels of cooperation between the two parties in the fields of Islamic banking and finance with a focus on Islamic capital markets, particularly sukuk, and facilitate coordination and exchange of experience in the Halal industry.

With the aim of enhancing knowledge of Islamic finance and Halal industry, the DIEDC, in partnership with TFEB, will organise workshops and training courses, and share professional research and development expertise. In addition, the two parties have set up a joint committee to oversee collaboration in the research and knowledge sectors that support the development of the Islamic economic system.

Commenting on the signing of the MoU, Sultan Al Mansouri said: “The UAE and Turkmenistan have enjoyed successful economic cooperation spanning decades, especially in the oil, gas and energy sectors. This partnership between DIEDC and TFEB will further strengthen synergies between our two countries and open doors for new collaborations in sustainable investment in Islamic economy, especially in the Islamic finance sector � a vital pillar of the Turkmenistan government’s long-term development plans.”

He noted the potential of the Halal sector to stimulate investments between the UAE and Turkmenistan based on sharia principles. Furthermore, he highlighted sukuk as an effective tool to finance projects in infrastructure, education and healthcare, as well as in other vital sectors in line with the efforts of the two countries to contribute to achieving the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

The Minister of Economy also emphasised that the Islamic economy has proven its value in preserving and even enhancing sources of wealth, and its principles comply with Turkmenistan’s food and energy security policies. He noted that the MoU will facilitate exchange of experience in the Halal sector in addition to boosting trade in Halal products that meet the demands of Muslims and non-Muslims alike in terms of health and safety.

For his part, Rahimberdy Jepbarov said: “Bilateral relations between the UAE and Turkmenistan continue to grow and prosper as we witness greater support from our Emirati counterparts. Dubai’s efforts in nurturing an enabling ecosystem and its positive steps in standardising Halal regulations have successfully strengthened its position as the global capital of Islamic economy, and garnered the city international trust. Building on existing significant collaborations in the fields of renewable energy, we have joined hands once again to expand partnerships into mutually-beneficial areas for both our countries.”

Speaking on the partnership, Essa Kazim, Secretary General of DIEDC, said: “The new synergy with Turkmenistan in the Islamic banking and finance arena establishes fertile grounds for promoting Sharia-compliant financing tools that have demonstrated their contribution to achieving sustainable and balanced development. We are keen to achieve our strategic objective of establishing Dubai as the global capital of Islamic economy. Our partnerships with relevant entities globally help promote an investment culture based on ethical Islamic principles, raise awareness of Islamic financial products, and establish an integrated ecosystem that guarantees fair development.”

He added: “TFEB’s interest in Sukuk reflects the tool’s growing international credibility, largely achieved through leveraging Sukuk to finance government projects, thereby enabling it to contribute to economic diversification. Such efforts validate Dubai’s successful ranking as the top global centre for Sukuk, and its role in shaping the international discourse towards sovereign instruments that support the growth requirements of the world economy.”

Abdulla Mohammed Al Awar, CEO of DIEDC, highlighted the role of the partnership with TFEB in promoting the principles of Islamic finance. He discussed the opportunities the partnership offers to enhance financial and economic stability in Turkmenistan and reiterated the UAE’s keenness to share its successful economic diversification experience in the post-oil era and its growing interest in investing in productive sectors that help achieve sustainable development.

Al Awar stressed the significance of the Halal sector for Turkmenistan that is focusing on developing its agricultural, industrial and commercial capabilities while preserving its natural resources. He said the exchange of expertise in the field of research will drive cooperation and investment, and provide a foundation for launching initiatives and programmes that support the advancement of the Islamic economy.

Source: Emirates News Agency