France to host Islamic finance summit
by Talal Malik on Monday, 28 April 2008http://www.arabianbusiness.com/517717?tmpl=component&page=
France’s upper house of parliament, the Senate, has said it will host two roundtable discussions on May 14 to study how the country can play a greater role in the Islamic finance sector.
The Senate’s Finance Commission President Jean Arthuis will preside over the sessions in Paris, which will examine the integration of Islamic finance in the global financial system and the role France can play in this area, the Senate said in a statement.
“This growth is drawing strong interest, including in Europe, where many are asking what way they can integrate this alternative finance beside conventional activities,” said Arthuis, highlighting the role of the UK in trying to make the City of London an Islamic finance hub.
According to Thomson Financial, Islamic finance assets are growing at an annual pace of 20% and are set to hit $2 trillion in 2010 from the current $900 billion.
The first roundtable in Paris will centre on how French companies can work with the Islamic funds, whilst the second roundtable will address how France’s legislative and regulatory frameworks can be adapted to work with these funds, the Senate said in a statement.
France has a Muslim population of six million, three times the size of UK’s, but authorities and regulators have been slow to realise the potential of the sector compared to London.