Ma’ruf Amin, Vice President of the Republic of Indonesia
LONDON: The global Islamic financial services industry had assets under management worth around US$2.941 trillion at the end of 2020 (Global Islamic Finance Report 2021). An industry experiencing a strong performance in 2019 was expected to increase even more, however, a lot of developments expected to take place in the Islamic finance industry slowed down owning to the COVID-19 pandemic. Despite the grim outlook, this also presented unprecedented opportunities for Islamic finance to mature as an alternative financial system, with assets expected to attain a size between US$3.789 trillion and US$5.115 trillion by 2025.
Global Islamic Finance Awards (GIFA) was founded in 2011 by Edbiz International Advisors as part of its advocacy for Islamic banking and finance. Since then, it has been held annually with its top award – Global Islamic Finance Leadership Award – presented to heads of state or government (or equivalent) for their leadership and advocacy roles in promoting Islamic banking and finance in their respective jurisdictions or globally. The winners of this prestigious award are known as GIFA Laureates. This year’s Global Islamic Finance Leadership Award was presented to His Excellency Ma’ruf Amin, Vice President of the Republic of Indonesia. His Excellency Ma’ruf Amin is a true champion of Islamic finance, leading the country to become a global hotspot for Islamic economy of which Islamic banking and finance is a part.
Other GIFA Laureates include HE Tun Abdullah Badawi, former Prime Minister of Malaysia (2011), HRH Sultan Nazrin Shah of Perak, Malaysia (2012), HE Shaukat Aziz, former Prime Minister of Pakistan (2013), HE Nur Sultan Nazarbayev, first Prime Minister of Kazakhstan (2014), His Highness Muhammandu Sanusi II, Emir of Kano, Nigeria (2015), HE Joko Widodo, President of Indonesia (2016), HE Ismail Omar Guelleh, president of Djibouti (2017), HE Bakir Izetbegovic, former Chairman of Presidency of Bosnia-Hersegovina (2018), HE Cyril Ramaphosa, President of the Republic of South Africa (2019), and His Excellency Dr Arif Alvi, President of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan (2020).
Professor Humayon Dar, Chairman of the Global Islamic Finance Awards, in his speech emphasised on the shared responsibility we have towards the development and advocacy of the Islamic finance industry to be a sustainable solution in the post-COVID world. “This year’s GIFA is celebrating a record number of Islamic financial institutions and individuals. We have winners from the USA, UK, South Africa, the Middle East and Asia. I, on behalf of the Awards Committee, congratulate the winners this year, hoping that they will continue to contribute to the success of their organisations and of the global Islamic financial services industry. It is your hard work, dedication and commitment that the industry stands today at the historic mark of 3 trillion US dollars.”
The Top Award for an institution, the Global Islamic Finance Leadership Award (Institution) 2021, was won by none other than Komite Nasional Ekonomi Keuangan Syariah (KNEKS). The National Committee for Sharia Economics and Finance (KNEKS) for its efforts in the development of the Shari’a economic and financial ecosystem and in making Indonesia a World Halal Centre.
Other notable winners include; RAM Ratings Services Berhad, Saturna Sdn Bhd, Bid Bond by Siraj Finance, IMMC by Al Waseelah PLC, ETHOS AFPTM, ZAWAF (Zakat, Sadaqah and Waqf Division) of Universiti Teknologi MARA (UiTM), meem Digital Banking by Gulf International Bank,
GIFA presented GIFA Excellence Awards to leading organisations in the Islamic finance industry: GIFA Excellence Award (Islamic Social Responsibility) 2021 was presented to CaizCoin, one of the many cryptocurrencies developed in Germany but with a unique working model.
GIFA Excellence Award (Islamic Social Responsibility) 2021 was awarded to Yayasan BaitulMaal Muamalat, an Indonesian zakat management institution.
GIFA Excellence Award (Islamic Asset Management) 2021 was won by Albilad Capital in recognition of the initiatives and innovations undertaken to provide financial services and products.
GIFA Excellence Award (Takaful) 2021 was presented to Prudential BSN Takaful Berhad, the country’s leading takaful operator.
GIFA Excellence Award (Islamic Financial Ratings) 2021 was won by Fitch Ratings, a leading provider of credit ratings, commentary and research for global capital markets.
GIFA Excellence Award (Islamic Finance Training & Education) 2021 was awarded to Brunei Institute of Leadership & Islamic Finance (BILIF).
GIFA Excellence Award (Roshan Digital Account Experience) 2021 was won by HBL Islamic Banking, which has positioned itself as one of the largest and leading Islamic banking players in the country.
GIFA Excellence Award (Premier Islamic Banking Services) 2021 were won by Shariah Banking, Standard Bank for its commitment to Islamic principles and Shari’a compliant assets.
GIFA Excellence Award (Corporate/Business Credit Cards) 2021 is won by Qatar International Islamic Bank, a leading bank providing innovative and Shari’a compliant banking services in Qatar.
The winners of GIFA Championship Award include; Tazkia Islamic University College for GIFA Championship Award (Education in Islamic Banking & Finance) 2021; Malaysian Financial Planning Council for GIFA Championship Award (Islamic Finance Qualifications) 2021; Bank Nizwa for GIFA Championship Award (Islamic Banking) 2021; Takaful Oman for GIFA Championship Award (Takaful) 2021; Arabesque Asset Management Ltd. for GIFA Championship Award (ESG & Sustainability) 2021; Aion Digital for GIFA Championship Award (Islamic Digital Solutions) 2021; and S&P Global Ratings for GIFA Championship Award (Islamic Financial Ratings) 2021.
GIFA Market Leadership Award was awarded to market leaders for their strategic role in growth of the Islamic finance industry. Notable winners include; Cagamas, BNP Paribas Asset Management Malaysia Sdn. Bhd., Al Ahli REIT Fund 1, Faculty of Islamic Economics and Finance UNISSA, Moody’s Investors Service, SEDCO Capital, and Bank Syariah Indonesia.
The Islamic Corporation for the Insurance of Investment & Export Credit (ICIEC) once again won the Global Islamic Export Credit and Political Risk Insurance Award 2021. Emirates NBD Capital, RIZQ, MANUlife Shariah Global REIT Fund, IBF Net Group, Siraj Finance, Ajman University, International Islamic Trade Finance Corporation (ITFC), Islamic Development Bank Institute (IsDBI), Riyad Saudi Equity Sharia Fund, Oasis Crescent (UK) Limited, Dar Al Sharia, Indonesia Stock Exchange, Pakistan Stock Exchange Limited, TAIF Digital Institute, Al Farabi Kazakh National University, Eiger Trading Advisors Limited, Malaysian Rating Corporation Berhad (MARC), International Turnkey Systems Group (ITS), PT Capital Life Syariah, Meezan Bank, Trust Bank Limited, HabibMetro Sirat, FNB Islamic Banking, Jaiz Bank PLC, Ambank Islamic Berhad, Faysal Bank Limited, Gatehouse Bank, Agrobank, BankIslami Pakistan Limited, Bank Islam Brunei Darussalam, Central Shariah Board for Islamic Banks of Bangladesh, Saudi Central Bank, Alinma Bank, and Islami Bank Bangladesh Limited emerged as proud winners this year.
Dr Adnan Aziz (Professor of Practice & Director Islamic Finance Centre for Academic and Research Excellence, Ajman University), Mr. Khalid Zubair Parekh (Founder and CEO of Fair), Mr. Muhammad Afaq Khan (Head Islamic Banking, HBL), Eqhwan Mokhzanee (Chief Executive Officer at AmBank Islamic Berhad), Mr. Irfan Siddiqui (Founding President and Chief Executive Officer of Meezan Bank) and Mr. Adam Ismail Ebrahim (Chief Executive Officer & Chief Investment Officer of Oasis Group Holdings) were awarded individual awards for their advocacy, efforts and unrelenting contributions towards innovating, evolving and developing products and services that service the global audience and sustain the Islamic financial services industry.