“Malta Islamic Finance Association will liaise with governments, quasi-governmental institutions, multilateral organization, standard setting bodies, agencies and regulatory authorities and support towards its goals. With the input of the stakeholders, as a Government we will be looking at drafting amendments to our legislation that will permit Islamic Financial Institutions to benefit from stronger links with EU member states amongst other opportunities.” This was said by Parliamentary Secretary for Financial Services, Digital Economy and Innovation Silvio Schembri when presiding over the signing of the Memorandum of Understanding for the launch of Malta Islamic Finance Association.
Silvio Schembri said that the Government’s efforts in the world of virtual currencies do compliment Islamic Finance, an area which will be further explored in the coming months and Malta can be a place for Islamic Finance to incorporate and discover new technologies in its operations.
Malta Islamic Finance Association (MIFA) is the first and only national body of its kind created by statute and endorsed by the Maltese Government. MIFA was officially launched on 26th June 2018 at the Malta Institute of Management’s annual conference by the Parliamentary Secretary for Financial Services and Digital Economy & Innovation, Hon. Silvio Schembri.
According to Reuben Buttigieg, the President of MIFA, a not-for-profit organisation, “MIFA is the result of many years of hard work behind the scenes with key officials, regulators and the private sector as well as promoting linkages with the global Islamic Finance industry. The present government headed by Prime Minister Joseph Muscat fully supports and endorses all efforts for establishing Islamic Finance in Malta. Islamic Finance was an integral part of the National Budget for 2014, and a comprehensive research was conducted by the Ministry of Finance in 2015. There is clear political will and government backing as has been advocated on many occasions by the Parliamentary Secretary for Financial Services and Digital Economy & Innovation, Hon. Silvio Schembri.”
The Secretary General of MIFA, Sheikh Bilal Khan, remarked: “With Brexit on the horizon, MIFA has the strong possibility of positioning Malta as the European Centre of Islamic Finance and, with the benefit of EU passporting rights and Malta’s Commonwealth membership, Malta can also serve as a gateway to Commonwealth markets across the globe. Indeed, it is the epicentre of half a billion population between Europe and North Africa and in turn to the wider Middle East. This makes Malta a melting pot of European and Islamic cultures and as such its inhabitants are regarded as Europeans with an Arab swagger.”
Reuben Buttigieg continued that: “Since Phoenicians times, Malta has served as a key trading centre and in the last three decades it has earned the status of a growing financial services hub as well as being recognised in 2018 as the European Capital of Culture. At present Malta is standing out as one of the leading FinTech capitals and in the digital world as the premier blockchain island with leading exchanges and international organisations moving their headquarters to Malta.”
The Governing Council of MIFA has appointed Mr. Reuben Buttigieg, a national champion of the industry, as President of MIFA and Sheikh Bilal Khan, a London-based international Shariah Scholar and English lawyer, as Secretary General of MIFA for the first term.
MIFA Contact Details:
Sheikh Bilal Khan – Secretary General, Malta Islamic Finance Association linkedin.com/in/bilalkhan786