Responsible finance can help Islamic financial institutions address a $12 trillion new market opportunity while better managing existing risks
By RFI Foundation | 13-Feb-2019
London, United Kingdom, 13 February 2019 – The organisers of the 4th Annual RFI Summit are pleased to announce opening of registration for the RFI Summit 2019. The RFI Summit, which will be held at Abu Dhabi Global Market (ADGM) on 29 April 2019, will provide participants with an opportunity to learn how responsible finance can help them improve the risk management capacity and identify new market opportunities for Islamic finance.
The RFI Summit is organised around the theme of “A New SRI: Can Sustainable, Responsible & Islamic Finance work together for impact?”. It offers participants the opportunity to learn about how Islamic financial institutions have unlocked benefit for their bottom line by incorporating responsible finance practices. The Summit will highlight real-world opportunities created by addressing the environmental and social impacts that their financing enables.
The universally-accepted Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), on which responsible finance has become increasingly focused, provides more than just a set of global goals. The Business & Sustainable Development Commission analysed the business case for the SDGs and estimates that businesses that align themselves to the SDGs will create $12 trillion in new market opportunities and help to create 380 million new jobs.
For financial institutions that direct financing to these SDG-oriented businesses, this is a large untapped market opportunity and provides a compelling story to help forge a stronger and more resilient connection with their depositors, customers and investors. The RFI Summit offers engaging dialogues between sustainable, responsible and Islamic finance industry experts to translate the global opportunity into specific actionable recommendations that the Islamic finance industry can adopt.
The RFI Summit will also demonstrate how adoption of responsible finance in Islamic finance supports ambitions enshrined in the Abu Dhabi Sustainable Finance Declaration. The declaration was signed by 25 public and private sector institutions in January 2019 during Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week and represents a significant commitment by financial institutions operating in the UAE to use finance to address climate change and to support action on the SDGs.
Blake Goud, CEO of RFI Foundation commented: “Islamic finance has an opportunity to improve its risk management capabilities by understanding and adopting environmental and social risk management practices. As responsible finance becomes more widely understood and integrated into the region’s financial system, there will be new avenues for business growth. The RFI Summit helps participants get ahead of the curve by connecting them with industry experts and by offering valuable peer learning opportunities to help them advance their institution’s adoption of responsible finance.”
Mounir Khouzami, Executive Board Member, Chairman of the Advisory Board and Co-Founder of Swiss Arab Network said: “Those who have adopted responsible finance practices understand that it can help them to mitigate risks and identify new markets that support the SDGs. We have seen promising developments in responsible finance emerging at some Middle East and North Africa-based Islamic financial institutions but it is far from being widely adopted. RFI Summit participants have a significant opportunity through their participation to come away with new knowledge about how responsible finance works in practice.”