Tuesday, January 13, 2009
Seminar on Islamic Finance aims to be catalyst for the development of Islamic financial services industry in Korea
Seoul, January 13, 2009—The Seminar on Islamic Finance kicked off in Seoul at the Lotte Hotel this morning with Dr. Jun Kwang-Woo, Chairman of Korea’s Financial Services Commission, delivering the opening remarks by H.E. Lee Myung-Bak, President of the Republic of Korea. Approximately 300 participants, including representatives from the IFSB, regulators, finance practitioners, business executives, and government representatives, attended the meeting.
In his opening remarks, President Lee Myung-Bak extended a warm welcome to the seminar participants and thanked the Islamic Financial Services Board (IFSB), the Financial Services Commission (FSC), and the Financial Supervisory Service (FSS), for working together to hold the seminar in Korea. Stressing the potential benefits of developing a vibrant Islamic financial services industry in Korea, President Lee Myung-Bak noted that “What we would like to see is significantly expanded capital flows and financial services between Korea and Islamic countries in addition to the trade of goods that have benefited each other so much over the past several decades.” He also commended the seminar by stating that “The Seoul Seminar is intended to achieve, among others, greater understanding and recognition of Islamic finance in Korea’s business community, in particular its potential for Korea’s financial service industry. It is a unique opportunity, and we are delighted to have it.”
Professor Rifaat Ahmed Abdel Karim, Secretary-General of the IFSB said in his opening address that, “The pursuit of financial stability does not solely depend on the effective enforcement and implementation of high quality prudential standards.” He highlighted that financial stability requires the development of other key components of the Islamic financial infrastructure, which include: (1) A systemic liquidity infrastructure; (2) A legal infrastructure; (3) An information infrastructure; and (4) Financial safety net mechanisms. On the cooperation in organising the Seminar with FSC/FSS, Rifaat added, “This inaugural gathering is hoped to be a catalyst for the development of the Islamic financial services industry in Korea, as well as trigger cooperation with delegates from other countries.”
FSS Governor Kim Jong Chang also expressed high expectations by telling the seminar participants that “This is the first Seminar on Islamic Finance for Korea and the third for the IFSB. For those of us in Korea who are looking to promote local awareness and development of Islamic finance, today’s seminar is a truly exciting and unique occasion. Amid discussions on fresh approach to global financial challenges, it is also a timely forum that will help us shed new light on opportunities for the Islamic financial services industry, its crucial linkage to global finance, and its potential to contribute to the global economy.”
The Seminar, the first such cooperation between the IFSB and the FSC/FSS, aims to create awareness of Islamic finance in Korea to facilitate sufficient recognition among its financial community. It also aims to highlight the industry’s potential opportunities in the country. The Seminar continues tomorrow.
INFORMATION ON THE ORGANISERS
About the IFSB
The Islamic Financial Services Board (IFSB) is an international standard-setting organisation that promotes and enhances the soundness and stability of the Islamic financial services industry by issuing global prudential standards and guiding principles for the industry, broadly defined to include banking, capital markets and insurance sectors. The 178 members of the IFSB comprise 42 regulatory and supervisory authorities, 6 international inter-governmental organizations and 130 market players and professional firms operating in 34 jurisdictions. The IFSB also conducts research and coordinates initiatives on industry-related issues, as well as organises roundtables, seminars and conferences for regulators and industry stakeholders. Towards this end, the IFSB works closely with relevant international, regional and national organisations, research/educational institutions and market players.
For more information about the IFSB, please visit www.ifsb.org
About the FSC
The Financial Services Commission (FSC), the successor to Financial Supervisory Commission, was reestablished as Korea’s financial policy and supervision authority on March 3, 2008, following revamping of the organizational structures and the financial policy and oversight functions of the supervisory authorities. The FSC has four primary mandates: to advance the financial industry, to maintain the stability of the financial markets, to promote a sound credit system and fair trading practices, and to protect investors and depositors. The FSC is led by nine commissioners: the Chairman, the Vice Chairman, Vice Minister of Strategy and Finance, Deputy Governor of the Bank of Korea, President of the Korea Deposit Insurance Corporation, Governor of the Financial Supervisory Service, two commissioners recommended by the Chairman of the FSC, and one commissioner recommended by the Chairman of the Korea Chamber of Commerce and Industry. The Chairman, who is appointed by the President of the Republic of Korea, presides over FSC meetings and administers the activities of the FSC.
For more information on FSC, please visit http://www.fsc.go.kr/eng
About the FSS
The Financial Supervisory Service (FSS) was established on January 2, 1999, under the Act on the Establishment of Financial Supervisory Organizations by bringing together the Banking Supervisory Authority, Securities Supervisory Board, Insurance Supervisory Board, and Non-bank Supervisory Authority into a single supervisory organization. As an executive arm of the FSC, the FSS is primarily responsible for carrying out supervision and examination of regulated financial institutions with the statutory authority to conduct investigations of unlawful conduct and take enforcement actions. The FSS also serves as a mediator of disputes between financial institutions and consumers. It is headed by the Governor. In a move designed to facilitate more effective financial supervision, the FSS was recently reorganized into 25 departments and 16 offices that are grouped into nine separate divisions: (1) strategic planning, (2) management support and consumer protection, (3) supervisory service coordination, (4) banking service, (5) non-banking service, (6) insurance service, (7) financial investment service, (8) capital market investigation, and (9) accounting service.
For more information on FSS, please visit http://english.fss.or.kr