| Aziz Idris |
THE role of the Islamic Development Bank (IDB) Group has become more prominent over the past decade through promoting equitable socio-economic development and sustainable growth, as well as in helping member countries address current and future challenges.
This was highlighted by the Deputy Minister of Finance, Dato Paduka Haji Bahrin bin Abdullah, at the IDB Group Day and Regional Lecture Series on Islamic Economics, Finance and Banking held at Indera Samudra Grand Hall, The Empire Hotel and Country Club yesterday.
Dato Paduka Hj Bahrin also commended the IDB Group for its efforts and achievements in fostering the economic development and social progress of member countries and Muslim communities in accordance with Islamic principles.
“After joining the bank 28 years ago, Brunei Darussalam and the IDB Group continue to build a strong and strategic partnership. This includes capacity building programmes, investments, capital market development as well as project financing and development,” he said.
Among the tangible outcomes include the establishment of the Institution for Leadership Innovation and Advancement (ILIA) building at Universiti Brunei Darussalam (UBD) and the success of the IDB Infrastructure Fund I.
According to the deputy minister, the ILIA building is now the headquarters for the Centre of Islamic Banking, Finance and Management (CIBFM), which offers and conducts various learning opportunities and development programmes to nurture and expand the talent pool in banking.
The IDB Infrastructure Fund I has achieved success not only in providing remarkable returns to investors, but also in providing the much needed infrastructure vital to the socio-economic development of member countries. “Following the success of the IDB Infrastructure Fund I, the IDB Infrastructure Fund II was launched in June 2014, which is by far the largest private equity infrastructure fund with a targeted size of US$2 billion,” he added.
The IDB Group will seek to foster regional cooperation with Asean countries in a win-win collaboration with Brunei.
According to the President of IDB Group, Dr Ahmad Mohamed Ali, IDB has been collaborating with the Asean Secretariat to support a sub-regional marine fisheries initiative involving Brunei, Indonesia and Malaysia.
He added that the IDB Group Member Country Partnership Strategy (MCPS) – a new engagement framework with member countries initiated in 2010 – is a unique process which not only defines IDB Group’s interventions in its member countries but also enhances member countries’ relationships with each other by sharing best practices and knowledge in their respective areas of competence through a mechanism called Reverse Linkages.
“For example, Brunei Darussalam can share its knowledge of the oil and gas industry as well as achieving high standards in social development with other IDB member countries. In return, Brunei Darussalam may benefit from knowledge and experiences of other member countries,” Dr Ahmad Mohamed Ali explained.
The IDB Group Day and Regional Lecture Series aimed at introducing IDB Group’s products and services to stakeholders in Brunei Darussalam. The event is expected to pave the way for a constructive consultation with the stakeholders, and possibly a pipeline of investment and financing opportunities.
The event also hopes to develop and strengthen collaboration between IDB and relevant stakeholders in the academia and Islamic financial institutions in the area of Islamic Economics, Banking and Finance as well as to showcase IDB Group’s products and services, promoting its activities in serving the Ummah especially in the Least Developed Member Countries (LDMCs) of the IDB Group.