“Financial Inclusion is a built-in concept of Islamic Finance and Bangladesh has become a role model of financial inclusion for the Islamic financial world”, said, Mohammad Abdul Mannan, Managing Director of Islami Bank Bangladesh Ltd (IBBL) while addressing the First ever ADB conference on Islamic Finance for Asia held at the ADB Headquarters, Philippines on 4-5 November 2013.
Organized jointly by Asian Development Bank (ADB) and Islamic Financial Services Board (IFSB), the conference was attended among others by President of ADB,Takehiko Nakao; Jashim Ahmed, Secretary General of IFSB; Rajat M. Nag, Managing Director General, Asian Development Bank; Bruce Davis and Stephen P. Groff, Vice Presidents of ADB; Dr Ishrat husain, ex-chairman of IFSB and ex-Governor of State Bank of Pakistan; Zamir Iqbal, Lead Investment officer, The World Bank, Dr. Mulya Siregar, Assistant Governor, Bank Indonesia and a host of experts, practitioners and regulators from ADB member countries and from the Islamic finance world.
The conference aimed at creating greater awareness on the potentials and opportunities brought about by Islamic finance to this region and discussed the issues relating to its progress, challenges and further developments. The conference also aimed at exploring avenues for interaction and co-operation among the members of IFSB and ADB.
Mohammad Abdul Mannan, in his presentation on “Islamic Banking: Financial Inclusion as a Core Concept: Bangladesh Experience”, presided over by Stephen P. Groff, Vice President of ADB, elaborated on the basics of Islamic Finance and Banking and shared with the audience the experience of financial inclusion in Bangladesh which is termed as the university of microfinance. He also placed the integrated financial inclusion model of Islami Bank Bangladesh Limited based on its Rural and Urban Poor Development Schemes as a successful model that has a share of more than 50 per cent of the world Islamic microfinance, which attracted high attention of the participants in the conference.